Spaghetti Warehouse

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SpaghettiWarehouse.png
Exterior of the Toledo location

Spaghetti Warehouse is an Italian restaurant chain geared towards families with eight locations in three U.S. states: 1 in New York, 4 in Ohio & 3 in Texas. The chain started in 1972 in Dallas, Texas, and at one point had spread throughout the southern and eastern parts of the United States. 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.

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.

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] In June 2007, Consolidated Restaurants sold the chain to the Los Angeles-based investment firm Frandeli, Inc.

The Old Spaghetti Factory, which started in 1969, has a very similar format.

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. The 3rd largest location 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.[3][4] 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]

Spaghetti and meatballs from Spaghetti Warehouse

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 newer locations such as Arlington, TX, Plano, TX or Elk Grove Village, IL (the latter two are now defunct), which are all in buildings that were built specifically to be Spaghetti Warehouses.

Memphis, Tennessee (closed)[edit]

The Memphis location was inside a typical warehouse of the late 19th to early 20th century. It was 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 7 March 1960, he was greeted in Memphis Union Station by a crowd of several hundred fans. The station was located about 0.6 mi (970 m) southeast of the restaurant's current site. The restaurant had closed in mid-November 2017 after 30 years of service.[5][6]

Houston, Texas (about to convert)[edit]

The Houston location was the company's second location & the second largest, after Columbus, Ohio. It opened in 1973 in Downtown Houston. Like the Dallas location, it had two floors of dining. During lunch, guests were seated in a trolley structure for their meal. The Houston location is said[by whom?] to be haunted. Many employees refuse to speak on the matter, but there have been a few, who are willing to share. Many signs of haunting include floating wine glasses, strange flickers of light, mysterious sounds, and voices in the night. Some waiters report mysterious sightings, especially when working late at night. According to reports from a variety of sources, including the Houston Press, a managers willingly recounted the haunting tales. Long ago, the building that Spaghetti Warehouse currently occupies served as a pharmacy. One day, one of the pharmacists was tragically killed in by a freak accident in an elevator shaft. His wife, devastated by his death, died of a broken heart exactly one year later. Her spirit is said to haunt the second floor of the Spaghetti Warehouse. Visitors have taken pictures of mysterious figures, and creepy noises have been recorded. The creepy element of the restaurant attracts many thrill seekers, who seek to explore the spiritual world.

In late August 2017, Hurricane Harvey forced the restaurant to close as a result of water seeping through the top of the main floor, causing significant damage. It will reopen in March 2019 as Warehouse 72/Butcher's Plates & Pizza, at the Marq*E Entertainment Center.

Ybor City, Tampa, Florida (closed)[edit]

The Tampa store was 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 4 March 2016, it was announced this location would be closing, however, 5 days later the parent brand, BLD Brands, stated the location will remain open for another full year while another location is scouted. By 2 October the restaurant was out of business as efforts to save the building and relocate it were moot.[7]

Little Rock, Arkansas (closed)[edit]

The Little Rock location opened on October 14, 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, originally named Mt. Sheridan, 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 on February 4,1996. 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.[8][9]

Tulsa, Oklahoma (closed)[edit]

The Tulsa location opened in the historic Brady Arts District in 1992 and had closed in late March 2017.

Current locations[edit]

Interior of the Toledo location, with trolley car

Past locations[edit]

  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Hartford, Connecticut
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Marietta, Georgia
  • Aurora, Illinois
  • Elk Grove Village, Illinois
  • South Bend, Indiana
  • Wichita, Kansas
  • Northampton, Massachusetts
  • Springfield, Massachusetts
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Buffalo, New York
  • Rochester, New York
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma[10]
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania[11][12]
  • Providence, Rhode Island
  • Columbia, South Carolina
  • Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Abilene, Texas
  • Addison, Texas
  • Austin, Texas
  • Bedford, Texas
  • Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Fort Worth, Texas
  • Irving, Texas
  • Mesquite, Texas
  • Plano, Texas
  • Stafford, Texas
  • Willowbrook, Texas
  • Glen Allen, Virginia
  • Newport News, Virginia
  • Norfolk, Virginia
  • Richmond, Virginia
  • Seattle, Washington

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. ^ "Ghosts of Dallas: Spaghetti Warehouse, 1977 - D Magazine". 18 December 2013. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Spaghetti Warehouse, Author at Dallas West End Directory". Dallas West End Directory. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Spaghetti Warehouse Closing". Memphis Flyer. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Spaghetti Warehouse announces closing Memphis restaurant". CommercialAppeal.com. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  7. ^ "Spaghetti Warehouse to close for good in Ybor City after efforts to save and relocate it fail". 27 September 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  8. ^ Kimble A. David (January 2007). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Southern Bagging Company" (PDF). Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
  9. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  10. ^ Patty Santos (1 February 2016). "Spaghetti Warehouse in Oklahoma City closing after nearly 30 years". KOCO. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  11. ^ "Strip District's Spaghetti Warehouse to Close". Post-Gazette.com. Retrieved 2016-08-28.
  12. ^ Tribune-Review. "Spaghetti Warehouse in Strip District closing". TribLIVE.com. Retrieved 10 May 2018.

External links[edit]