Spaghetti Warehouse

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Spaghetti Warehouse is an Italian restaurant geared towards families with 14 locations in 7 U.S. states. The chain started in 1972 in Dallas, Texas, and has since spread throughout the southern and eastern parts of the United States. The location in Columbus, Ohio, which opened in 1978, is the largest both in seating capacity and in sales. The Columbus location seats approximately 800 people. Each restaurant has a trolley car in the dining room and patrons are able to sit in the car. One of Spaghetti Warehouse's unique characteristics is that many of the older locations are in renovated, historic buildings.

Spaghetti Warehouse, Inc., was acquired in 1998 by Consolidated Restaurant Cos. (a holding company of the private equity firm Cracken, Harkey & Co. L.L.C.).[1] The Old Spaghetti Factory, started three years earlier, has a very similar format. In June 2007, Consolidated Restaurants sold the chain to the Los Angeles-based investment firm Frandeli, Inc.

Locations[edit]

Dallas, Texas[edit]

The original location, in the West End of Dallas, Texas, opened in 1972.[2] The building was built in 1891 and served as a pillow factory for much of its history. One of the largest locations in the chain, including two floors and private dining rooms, it is credited[by whom?] as the first restaurant-retail business in the neighborhood that spurred the rebirth of the West End area of Downtown Dallas in the 1970s and 80s. It is home to many former brass bed headboards, an old confessional, and the headboard and footboard of a bed that belonged to Stephen F. Austin, which is now a booth that fits up to 8 people. An original East Dallas trolley car is in the main dining room.

Austin, Texas (closed)[edit]

The Austin location was the third location in the chain's history. Opened in 1975, and built in 1902, it used to be a grocery warehouse, and during prohibition, was a brothel. Two chandeliers from New York City's Penn Station reside there as well as the original box office from Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Like its Dallas counterpart, it is also home to an original East Dallas trolley car. The Austin location closed April 23, 2011 due to physical building issues.

Columbus, Ohio[edit]

The Columbus location was the first Spaghetti Warehouse outside of Texas, and the fifth to open in the chain. It opened in April 1978 in an old ice house built in the 1880s. It is the largest in the company and continually exceeds its counterparts in weekly sales. It is such a "landmark" in Columbus, that many diners there believe it to be the only location. It is home to two confessionals taken from churches in New England, as well as a 1920s German elevator in which patrons may sit for dinner. The original steam engine that kept the building cold when it was an ice house, is still located in its lobby. Another artifact there includes the head of a moose killed by former President Theodore Roosevelt along with its certificate of authenticity.

Akron, Ohio[edit]

The Akron location opened in 1992 on the site of a former B. F. Goodrich Corporation warehouse, that was originally built in the 1870s. The Akron store features a 20-foot chandelier that once belonged to the Dunes Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Several Akron rubber tire company signs, and antiques. Although not one of the original, warehouse type stores from the 1970s and 80s, it is in a historical building in a historical area, unlike other newer locations such as Plano, Texas, Arlington, Texas, or Elk Grove Village, Illinois, which are all in buildings that were built specifically to be Spaghetti Warehouses.

Memphis, Tennessee[edit]

The Memphis location is inside a typical warehouse of the late 19th to early 20th century. It is decorated with an original trolley used for transportation in downtown Memphis, and with doors and light fixtures from Memphis Union Station which had been abandoned and razed in 1968 to make way for a new post office. When Elvis Presley returned from the Army on March 7, 1960, he was greeted in Memphis Union Station by a crowd of several hundred fans. The station was located about 0.6 mile southeast of the restaurant's current site.

Houston, Texas[edit]

The Houston location is said[by whom?] to be haunted, and is the company's second one and second-largest, after Columbus, Ohio. It opened in 1973 in Downtown Houston. Like the Dallas location, it has two floors of dining.

Ybor City, Tampa, Florida[edit]

The Tampa store is located in the former tobacco storage warehouse of the Ybor Factory Building in the historic neighborhood of Ybor City. The building was constructed in 1886 and was the largest cigar factory in the world at the time. The walls and floors of the restaurant consist mainly of original exposed brick, and a replica of an Ybor City street car is located inside the main dining room. On March 4, 2016, it was announced this location would be closing, however, on March 9, 2016 the parent brand, BLD Brands, stated the location will remain open for another full year while another location is scouted.

Little Rock, Arkansas (closed)[edit]

The Little Rock location opened in 1990, housed in the former Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway passenger station. This historic building had opened in 1901 as the Choctaw Route station, but had been vacant since 1968, after being purchased by the preservation minded owners of the Arkansas Gazette. At the time this Spaghetti Warehouse location opened, it was reported to be the company's most expensive renovation to date, and part of the dining area also include a 1924 Pullman car which had been used by the Cotton Belt Railroad. Spaghetti Warehouse also acquired an antebellum home, the Alexander George house, which had served as a division headquarters for the railroad. For four years, Spaghetti Warehouse worked with local preservationists in an effort to save this structure, which was finally razed in 1994. The slow pace of downtown Little Rock redevelopment doomed the restaurant, and this location was closed in February 1996. The former passenger station building is today part of the Clinton Presidential Center.

Norfolk, Virginia (closed)[edit]

The Norfolk location opened in 1991 and closed in 2001. It was housed in the Southern Bagging Company building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.[3][4]

Current locations[edit]

Past locations[edit]

  • Aurora, Illinois
  • Elk Grove Village, Illinois
  • Richmond, Virginia
  • Norfolk, Virginia
  • Newport News, Virginia
  • Glen Allen, Virginia
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Abilene, Texas
  • Fort Worth, Texas
  • Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Addison, Texas
  • Bedford, Texas
  • Irving, Texas
  • Mesquite, Texas
  • Stafford, Texas
  • Willowbrook, Texas
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Columbia, South Carolina
  • Springfield, Massachusetts
  • Hartford, Connecticut
  • South Bend, Indiana
  • Providence, Rhode Island
  • Wichita, Kansas
  • Marietta, Georgia
  • Northampton, Massachusetts

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "COMPANY NEWS; SPAGHETTI WAREHOUSE AGREES TO A TAKEOVER". New York Times. September 19, 1998. Retrieved July 31, 2012. 
  2. ^ "About Spaghetti Warehouse". Retrieved July 31, 2012. 
  3. ^ Kimble A. David (January 2007). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Southern Bagging Company" (PDF). Virginia Department of Historic Resources. 
  4. ^ Staff (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  5. ^ Patty Santos (1 February 2016). "Spaghetti Warehouse in Oklahoma City closing after nearly 30 years". KOCO. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 

External links[edit]