Railway Paradise: How a Fine-Dining Empire Made the Southwest Palatable to Outsiders


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What’s up, ATCHISON?!?!?


In some places, of course, they were replaced by Howard Johnson’s.



Not to be confused with THESE Harvey Girls…

OK… this is more like it…


From around 1960 until the early 70s the “Oasis” restaurants over the tollways in the Chicago area were operated by Fred Harvey; I used to go there all the time with my dad. Robert Altman’s first movie, Nightmare in Chicago, had many scenes that took place in them, for which reason I like stumbling across the movie on occasion, even though I can’t watch Ted Knight and not see him as Ted Baxter.


I’ve heard of the Harvey Girls. The movie about them was a lot of fun in its dumb way. Maybe I’m weird, but I often like those old corporate movies with their overly idealized vignettes from corporate history e.g. The Harvey Girls, Dispatch From Reuters, Western Union and so on. Nowadays they can’t even make a passable Steve Jobs / Apple movie.

Fred Harvey’s company was one of the great food service empires. I remember ads for it during World War II when they ran the dining cars on all the troop trains. Fred Harvey ran restaurants, dining cars, commissaries and even hotels like La Fonda in Santa Fe. I gather they were eventually purchased by Amfac in the 1960s. I have no idea if the food was ever any good.


I liked it, but I was under 10.



I saw that movie in this theater:

Unlike HoJos, whish is miraculously still around, the theater is long gone.


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