Gabe’s Restaurant Postcard — Owensboro KY


Gabe’s Restaurant Postcard — Owensboro KY
Originally uploaded by mrtoastey

I grew up in Owensboro, Kentucky, and worshipped weekly at the Sunday buffet at Gabe’s Restaurant. I can almost smell the fried chicken… I wish I could. The building was demolished. I’m not sure when — probably the late seventies, or the early eighties.

On Sundays, the building was rather labyrinthine, and — if you had lassez-faire parents like we did — a great place for a couple of under-10-year-old boys to “explore,” after having shaken the hand of Gabe Fiorella himself — always stationed at the threshold to the dining room — and been seated.

A favorite was the lounge (upper right), which was closed on Sundays, due to local ordinance, I’m sure. But the room had no doors, so it was merely darkened, with an eerie glow coming from behind the bar, and the walls lined with heavy red velvet curtains that my brother and I could skulk around behind.

These are some of my fondest memories: playing some concoction of “Man from U.N.C.L.E.” and Hide-n-Seek at Gabe’s. Downstairs were hallways with offices, a little musty from the common practice of indoor smoking in those days and just creepy enough to enthrall two brothers every week after church on Sunday.

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