Lincoln has seen countless eateries, diners, cafes, bistros, buffets, chophouses, cafeterias, coffee shops, ice cream parlors, drive-thrus, etc., come and go. Here's part 1 of a look back at Lincoln's culinary history, from restaurants remembered to some that are longtime favorites and still in business.
Rock 'n' Roll Runza
Waiter Joey Davis (left) looks on while soda jerk Rob Ford and waitress Carey Breckner ferry a banana split to hungry customers at Rock 'n' Roll Runza in 1991.
Chi-Chi's proved to be a popular restaurant from day one. This picture of their packed dining room was taken a week after the restaurant opened in 1982.
Scott Mercer (left), Bob Scura and Kurt Cameron work on assembling some of the wild decor that once filled the interior of P.O. Pears in 1980.
Debra North gives service with a smile at A&W, one of the last genuine drive-in restaurants in Lincoln in 1981. The other was a Runza.
Lincoln Pius X students leave the newly-constructed Waldo's Drive-Thru in 1989. The restaurant at 53rd and O streets was once a popular high school hangout.
The last view from Johnson's Cafe, which closed the night this picture was taken in 1987 after 20 years in business.
Waiter Herb Thomas gives dessert options to lone customer Lucy Buntain at The Rotisserie in 1992.
Lincoln's first sidewalk cafe was Pontillo's Pizzeria downtown. Pictured in 1984.
Live music by Paul Burner entertains diners at K's Restaurant in 1979.
The view east from 11 floors up could not be beat at awkwardly named e11even in 1989.
Lone Oak Cafe
1950s nostalgia exudes from this 1958 photo of Lone Oak Cafe near Emerald, west of Lincoln. Unfortunately the crowd of classic cars was mostly media, gathered because the owner and manager had been found dead on the floor by an employee earlier that day. Their deaths were attributed to a gas leak.
Lincoln's first McDonald's was built in 1959 at 53rd and O streets.
The Coffee House
Neon glow from The Coffee House, a longtime staple of downtown Lincoln, beckons late-night pedestrians to stay up a little later in 1989.
The newly renovated Imperial Palace casts a glow over evening diners in 1993.
To be continued...
Chef Peter Wang works his culinary mastery at the original Imperial Palace in 1984, but what is he making? See the finished result in the next installment of PhotoFiles.