By Mary Ellen Shaw
When I read that Seward’s Restaurant is closing my mind went to memories that began in childhood. When you have been around for more than of a century it’s rare to have an existing business that has shared that same time span with you. I was 3 years old when the restaurant began operation in 1947. My first memory of going there was during my grade school years. When you are a child, going out to eat is a real treat. You are reminded to “mind your manners” if you want to visit that restaurant again. Going to Seward’s was a real treat and I wanted to be sure that I could go there often. Like many kids my usual order was a burger and fries. Of course, I had to save room for their ice cream that was homemade back then. In the warm weather months back in the ’50s a Sunday ride was a tradition in my family. It always ended with an ice cream cone from Seward’s. With numerous flavors to choose from it seems like once we found our favorite we stuck with it. For me it was pistachio. My dad loved butter pecan and my mom was a fan of maple walnut.
Seward’s was the place to head after school events. I remember dances at Christ the King School that ended with all of us walking from school to Seward’s. That was probably close to two miles of exercise so some calories got burned by the time we got there. The “Pig’s Dinner” was something the boys ordered. It was a large banana split served in a dish that looked like a pig’s trough. I don’t think any of them finished that treat. The girls usually ordered sundaes or milk shakes. They were delicious.
Seward’s continued to be a popular place to go after high school events. Looking back I wonder how much noise we made. Hopefully we didn’t disturb other customers. But we were never asked to leave so I guess we passed the etiquette test!
The “back room” of Seward’s could be reserved for larger gatherings. I attended some of those over the years and have fond memories of the opportunity to do so.
Like all “seniors” we tend to look back at the good old days and sometimes we like to re-create them. That has been the case when my senior friends return to the area and want to go to Seward’s. It has offered us the opportunity to enjoy a meal or eat a sundae in their tulip dishes as we catch up with one another.
Thanks to the late Roland Q. Seward, the restaurant founder, for establishing this legend and to his son, Tom and wife, Karen, for carrying the business forward to today. Best wishes to them as they begin the next chapter in their lives in retirement.