Nostalgia Diner: The Old "A Frame" International House of Pancakes
A Little History
The International House of Pancakes first opened it's doors in 1958 in a suburb of Los Angeles, CA. The restaurant became a hit and soon the classic A-frame structures that became an icon for IHOP began popping up all across the United States. The last of the A-frame structures were built in 1979. One of the more popular breakfasts served by IHOP was introduced in 1985. It was named the Rooty Tooty Fresh N' Fruity and, if you weren't too embarrassed to ask for it by name, you would get 2 eggs, 2 strips of bacon, 2 sausage links, and 2 buttermilk pancakes with fruit and whipped cream on top. Today, IHOP is still a popular spot to grab breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Breakfast items are served all day long and many of the restaurants are open 24 hours a day.
International House of Pancakes Near NC State University
There are not many of the classic built A-frame International Houses of Pancakes still standing, however the one located off of Hillsborough St., just down the road from the NC State Campus, is still open. It was built in 1968 and has since been a popular place to grab some delicious food and coffee after ball games, dates, or even after the bars close. It is open around the clock.
Soon, however, this IHOP will join the ranks of many of the other classic structures. By 2015 it will be torn down and relocated nearby. It's understandable. People want new, shiny, and improved. They want bigger, nicer dining rooms, updated kitchens, and sparkling, clean new restrooms. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that.
My husband and I were having a late night breakfast at this IHOP the other night. It was after 11:00pm and the restaurant still had a good bit of business. I saw students from the NC State campus hanging out and having a good time. A couple of construction workers who must have been working late came in to catch a quick meal. There was a couple who appeared to be on a first date asking the typical "first date" kind of questions to each other in the corner booth. And then there was my husband and I. I am 35 weeks pregnant. Sometimes I just want pancakes at 11pm. You just don't question the pregnant woman about this. The waitstaff was very friendly and the food was, as always, delicious. We talked about the many people who have eaten at this restaurant over the past 45 years. 45 years equals a lot of customers:
1. 45 years of first dates.
2. 45 years of cramming for finals over coffee.
3. 45 years of celebrating a Wolfpack win.
4. 45 years of sobering up after the bars close.
5. 45 years of breakfasts with the family before the graduation ceremony.
6. 45 years of happy kids eating chocolate chip, smiley pancakes.
7. 45 years of serious talks between couples.
8. 45 years of the "regular" customers who are happy to be greeted by name.
9. 45 years of lonely people who have no family to join for a holiday meal.
10. 45 years of pregnant women getting their late night pancake fix!
This IHOP has seen 45 years of happy moments, sad moments, and moments of couples falling in love. These walls hold so many memories. If only they could talk.
Maybe it's silly to get so sentimental over an old restaurant being torn down. Perhaps. But maybe there are others who feel the same way. Maybe there are those who will return to this spot and, in their minds, relive the memories that were made at this restaurant so long ago.