Even more businesses

By Mike Dendurent

Folks continue to have fun remembering former Manhattan businesses.

Back in February, hoping to stir some memories for Mercury readers, I wrote a column listing dozens of past local firms that I remembered — or at least had heard of. That piece prompted readers to send in the names of additional former businesses that they recalled. In April, I published a list of 90 more Manhattan business establishments from the past, based on those submissions.

But it didn’t end there. After the April column, a group of friends who gather regularly to share food and conversation at Aggieville’s Rock-A-Belly Deli compiled and sent in their own list of past businesses that hadn’t been in the paper. And friend Don Duncan of Manhattan, who had submitted a number of the business names published in the April column, brought in a 1968 Riley County Farm & Ranch Directory that has ads for even more businesses of yesteryear. Others, too, have sent in additional names.

Thanks to all who have contributed to this fun project.

Here is the newest list of old Manhattan businesses; see how many you remember:

Hunter & Lundberg General Contractors Inc., Food-4-Less, TG&Y Variety Store, Schlotzsky’s, Al’s Deli, Denholm Realty, King’s Furniture, Skaggs Drug Center, Animal House Pets, Dilly’s Deli.

Avalon Club, Koo Koo’s, El Cazador, Kystallo’s, Body by Schleiby, Manhattan Cafe, Team Electronics, T.W.’s, Currie Pontiac, First National Bank.

La Casa de los Vera Restaurant, Elks Club, Cavalier Club, Pink Taco, Fish Bowl, Chicken Shack, Me & Ed’s, Sally’s Smokehouse, Elkins Motors, Granny Smith’s.

Hansen’s Grocery, Plamor Bowling Alley, Rip & Mo’s Deli, Hillside Grocery, Holiday Inn (on Tuttle Creek Blvd.), Johnny’s Grocery, Rooks Billiards, Midtown Club, Rogue’s Inn, Twelfth Street Pub.

Rogers Paint Store, Casa Talalac, Gilligan’s, Country Kitchen, Burns-Salisbury Farm Equipment, Columbian Securities, Compton’s Grocery, Mr. M’s Magnavox, Irvine Oil Co., Anti-Pest Exterminators.

Gilly’s Landing, Manhattan Production Credit Association, American National Insurance, Maurice McNeil Insurance, McCall’s Shoes, Toothaker Real Estate, Tri-County Skelgas Service, King’s Rug & Carpet Cleaners, West Loop Skelly Service, Key Pontiac.

Flint Hills Feed & Grain, Saint Mary Hospital, Memorial Hospital, Topsy’s Popcorn, Daylight Donuts, Doe’s Eat Place, Hey Baby, Little King, Ladies Club, Wharton Manor.

And several people have mentioned the little place formerly located in the middle of the 900 block of Poyntz — across from what’s now Manhattan High School’s East Campus — that sold 10-cent hamburgers.

The building — long gone — was just big enough for a grill, a counter and a few stools. But the tiny hamburgers (a la Cozy Inn) sold there were wonderful. Our family would buy them by the bag in the 1960s when we had get-togethers at my grandmother’s house just down the street. What was the name of the business? While compiling my first list of former businesses, I came across a business located in that block during that time called the Inn-B-Tween. The name would have been appropriate for the hamburger joint because the small building was sort of “in between” larger ones on the block.

Was that its name? If you know, let me know, and I’ll pass it along. And tell me anything else you know about that little piece of local history. Other curious readers will thank you.

So, there you go. Now we’ve named EVERY former Manhattan business. The list is complete. There couldn’t possibly be any more. Not.


John Denver sang that “some days are diamonds, some days are stones.” Things go much better some days than others, that’s for sure. Mercury reporter Paul Harris put it perfectly a while back in the newsroom when he said, “Some days you’re the bird, and some days you’re the windshield.”

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