Saturday, February 23, 2013

Vintage Sign project continues....

There's a possibility of some gallery shows for my old-time GR sign project so I'm trying to get re-motivated. Here's the latest...

My first try at using "electroluminescent wire" for neon. Not as bright as I was hoping but still learning.

Back-lit version.

The City Centre was a bustling mall in Monroe Center in the 80s. It didn't last very long though. Closed in the early 90s. It is currently the Police Station/Secretary of State. Part of GR's try at revitalizing downtown and it didn't quite work out, neither did "Mackie's World" rebranding they tried years later. Some older than me may remember it as Herpolsheimer's.  I lived downtown in the late 80s so it was a hangout for me and I remember it in its prime. There is literally no visual reference to be found anywhere for City Center. I had to rely on video I shot down there for stills in making the sign.  In my memory, the City Center was the most 80s mall of the 80s. I think the designers took more than a few cues from Miami Vice. Everything was pink and teal, including the little train that ran around the food court!

Me hangin out in the City Centre food court, 1987. Pink and teal 4 eva!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Mr. Fables re-opening???

Bill Lewis, Yesterdog restaurant owner and former Mr. Fables employee, apparently owns the Mr. Fables trademark and would be allowed access to the Mr. Fables secret recipes by Boyles and Faber if he wished to restart the Mr. Fables restaurant. 

A recent question posted on the Yesterdog Facebook page posed the question of why should Mr. Fables come back, leading some to believe the restaurant may be making a return.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Purple East "plus"

I was going through some of my 80s VHS and found this image I shot of the front of the old Purple East when it was on Fulton.  I used to like browsing for awesome shirts in there. I'm always impressed with hand-painted signs like this.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sweden House

.... Or "Sveden House" if you prefer. I've seen it spelled both ways.

 The postcard I found above is one of the few bits of ephemera I could come across anywhere online. I remember the place having the fireplace and unusual decor that made me feel like I was in a castle or something. Was it really this over the top? 

I think of this place every so often and wish I could go there and eat and eat and eat until I become physically ill, like I did my junior year of highschool. Our class won some kind of sweepsakes put on by the company that made our class rings and the prize was having our whole class bussed out to Sveden House in Grand Rapids. I am pretty sure it was the one on 28th St. 
I went to school out in a little town in the cornfields so this was kind of a big deal, getting to come to the metropolis of Grand Rapids and feast at this place. 

Sveden House restaurants were in Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin
Besides the one on 28th St. I believe there was another on Plainfield. It's been so long since the last time I went, I really can't remember the quality of the food but I'm guessing I wasn't old enough to be too picky.

I went looking to see if there were any of these restraunts still left anywhere. I would seriously get some people together and road-trip out of state if need be to dine at Sveden House once more.  Alas, the most info I could find was for one in Livonia on a few different restaurant listing/review sites. The one and only review is dated 2005. I am guessing that it can't have stayed open much longer after that year. Google street view shows a depressing-looking plaza with abandoned buildings.

The only other info I could find about it was that the owner of the chain, Keith Maxwell passed away in 2011 at age 88.

After finding most traces of Sveden House erased from existence, I was happy to score this on ebay...

With the "w" spelling." That Valkyrie is kinda hot.
So goodbye forever, Sweden (Sveden) House. I'll kinda miss you. The Schnitzelbank as well, now that I think of it.