Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The saga of the Apple Pan

Prescott Good Eats has just posted a review of the Apple Pan, which focused on the food, not on all those apples decorating this local, down-home restaurant. The reason I've held off writing about the Apple Pan and all those apples? Because there's much history involved. Four chapters, in fact.

This popular restaurant had its start in the early 90s over in the tiny space now occupied by the Aloha on West Sheldon. You see, there was this flamboyant entrepreneur who loved coming up with restaurant concepts: themed decor, menu ideas and especially menu names (barbrambled eggs, anyone?) Of course, once he birthed a concept, he was bored and ready to move on. As I recall, after maybe a year, he sold the Apple Pan to Marilyn and opened a much more elaborate dinner house in the KMart shopping center. The theme: medieval England. Lots of red, wood, beef, knights-in-armour decor stuff generally. He spent far too much money, the prices were too high for the market -- and he went down in flames. Never heard what happened to him afterwards.

In the meantime, Marilyn owned and operated the Apple Pan for many years. After a short spell on Sheldon, she developed a good following and, needing more space, rented the present Gurley Street store, which had been home to a lacklustre series of cafes from the time we moved into the area in the early 80s. However, she did not have nearly enough apple-themed items to decorate the new premises. Her solution (a great one) was to ask her customers for any and all apple paraphernalia they might be willing to donate. The result is what you see today, including such collectibles as a series of old fashioned apple-box labels (samples above).

For many years, my LH and I ate our breakfasts at the Apple Pan, after which we would walk down to the post office to pick up mail at our PO boxes. I'm sure that during that period, we became local icons like Inez, that were a necessary part of the morning scenery. Toward the end of our years eating at the Apple Pan, Marilyn was growing tired, ready to sell her business. Finally, it was bought by Sue Ann, who had been one of her waitresses. The final chapter in the saga was expansion to Prescott Valley, which has recently come to an end, according to Oddball Observations. That is where the story leaves off, currently.

I should warn you about that menu board above -- the picture was taken in 2006 and I'm sure the prices are higher today. I guess I should make a point of dropping by to check it out -- a plate of B&G sounds like a good idea in the chilly weather we've been suffering.

Normally I wait until the weather warms up so that I can enjoy my breakfast and a newspaper outdoors.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good place for the morning meal. None like that in Germany, at least not in this area.

Anonymous said...

I've eaten at Sue Ann's former PV place, and loved the food and atmosphere.

Have you heard her plans? Is she re-opening anytime soon?

~Anon in AV.

TomboCheck said...

I've yet to stop in here. I never think of heading this far west when picking a lunch destination, though I might just have to make it a point to do so in the future. :)

Linda G. said...

We haven't eaten there for years, and I'm not sure why! We'll pay a visit soon...hmmm..breakfast..or lunch....decisions..decisions..

Granny J said...

steve -- coming from the big city, I was not used to the idea that half the cafes in town were open only for breakfast and lunch. But we've got a lot of great places for a good breakfast.

anon -- I think Sue Ann is going to concentrate on her Prescott place.

tombo -- the Apple Pan location is a very odd one for a restaurant -- I think maybe the location across from the church is what makes it viable.

lindaG -- good idea, even though the Apple Pan does not usually have rhubarb pie.

Lucy said...

What is it with apples that's so feelgood and appealing? I suppose Eve must have felt the same way!

Granny J said...

lucy -- it's curious. About apples, that is. They have achieved this iconic status for old-fashioned goodness and good health and proper food, etc. My, I much prefer apricots or bing cherries if its fruit for eating out of hand ... and rhubarb or lemon when it comes to pie. Probably because I'm inclined to be difficult in the face of stereotypes.

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