QUESTION: The idea of swallowing something "hook, line and sinker" has been around for a long time. In what year did Jerry Lewis star in a comedy of that name?
Today, we explore another one of the matchbooks in the newly-added collection displayed in our Toy Box for a restaurant in upstate New York (you know, the part of the state not considered New York City). Utica, southeast of Rome, became a major hub in the city because of its location along the Erie Canal during the 19th century. Three miles south of Utica is the comparatively quiet suburban town of New Hartford, settled in the 1780's by families traveling west out of New Hampshire and Connecticut. It is believed one of these settlers came from Connecticut's capital and, as such, named it New Hartford. Just ahead a couple hundred years, and a restaurant emerged on the Seneca Highway named Hook, Line and Sinker, a seafood restaurant with an admirable salad bar and options for non-seafood lovers as well. We understand the broccoli and cheddar soup was worth its weight in gold. We also have reliable information that the lounge/bar was a nice place to meet up with friends new and old, but if you were looking for a quiet experience, you would have to avoid that section of the facility. It got loud during happy hour. Unfortunately, we can only conjecture on the quality of the experience at Hook, Line and Sinker because they closed their doors on Sunday, October 17, 2010.
When Richard Zdyb opened the restaurant in the 1970's, it was a strange thing to find anywhere in the country: a stable menu, reliable service, good food, and loyal customers. For over thirty years people continued to dine there but, as more and more businesses left the area, Zdyb found it more and more difficult to sustain. He expressed sadness that he had to close the doors, but his patrons showed their grief even more passionately. The building has since been taken over by a Sprint Store, living in the shadow of the nearby Sangertown Mall. If you find yourself in the area, we may recommend Zebb's Deluxe Grill and Bar instead. But, if you were a fan of Hook, Line and Sinker, come on over to the American Treasure Tour. We have one of their matchbooks on display to remind us of its heyday.
ANSWER: C) 1969. If you guessed 1930, don't kick yourself too hard. There was a comedy made by that title then starring Wheeler and Woolsey. Of course, Jerry Lewis was only four years old then, but who's counting?