1950’s Era Matchbook Courtesy of the Private Collection of Evan Finch.
In 1928, V.D. Vincent, the Cafe Manager for the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, started serving “special dinners” in their country cottage, located in what was then the much more rurally-located 81st and College Avenue area. He and his wife entertained up to thirty guests at a time at these dinners on a regular basis for twenty years, interrupted only by events related to World War II.
In 1947, Hubert Kelso purchased the restaurant from the Vincents and expanded the seating to accommodate seventy patrons. In 1960, Kelso added on to the location, to allow for seating for 150 diners. While he owned the Holly Hock Hill Restaurant, Kelso was elected President of the Indiana Restaurant Association and was later inducted into its Hall of Fame. Kelso retired in 1993.
In 1993, the Holly Hock Hill Restaurant again changed ownership, but to a person very familiar with the business. The new owners, Jay and Barbara Snyder, were longtime employees of the restaurant, with Jay starting his career with Holly Hock Hill in 1959 as a yard boy. The Holly Hock Hill of today mirrors that of yesteryear – the menu has been mostly consistent over the years, including their famous fried chicken.
Easter was always a big day in our family. My grandfather decided that a large family style meal was wonderful for this holiday. After church, with family in full Easter regalia, we were treated to a wonderful Chicken Dinner with all the “fixins”. I remember as a small child at the dishes filled with pickles, beets, cottage cheese, salad with HH dressing! Huge bowls of endless green beans, mashed potatoes, rolls, and other veggies….delighted any guest at Holly Hock. It was a great place to start a tradition…..
My grandmother, Viola Clingerman made the bread for Hollyhock Hill. As a young child I would go with her to take the bread to the restaurant. She baked the bread at home, because her mom lived with her and she didn’t want to leave her home alone. The bread was baked in one normal kitchen oven! If I remember right Grandma baked around 50 loaves of bread a day. During the holidays she baked less loaves of bread and more rolls. What great memories of her making the bread.
wONDERFUL MEMORIES OF GOOD TIMES AND GOOD FOOD HERE!!!