Ever wondered what happened to that restaurant you once loved and have memories of dining at with your family and friends? We did! And we discovered an amazing website called Lost Tables, dedicated to celebrating the restaurants of our past. We are partnering with the site's creator Harley Hammerman and celebrating these wonderful stories throughout the month of February.
Lost Tables | The Parkmoor
The Parkmoor was founded by William L. McGinley in 1931. In the early 1920s, McGinley invented an aluminum tray that attached to car doors. The viability of McKinley's TraCo tray was dependent on the viability of the fledgling curb service business. So McKinley and his wife Ellen, with a few belongings and a trunk full of dreams, set out from their Texas home and traveled the country by car, determined to sell his trays and the idea of drive-in restaurants.
McGinley was a charming and successful salesperson, and enthusiasm for his TraCo trays began to build. His cross-country trek eventually led him to St. Louis. While drive-in restaurants and curb service were embraced in many states, Missouri had yet to catch on. When the restaurants of St. Louis resisted curb service, McGinley decided to open a curb service restaurant of his own.
McGinley's drive-in concept proved to be an instant hit. The original Parkmoor on Clayton Road at Big Bend, with its distinctive Tudor-style architecture, opened on July 15, 1931, and Clayton police had to be summoned to direct the carloads of customers who turned out. Carhops in bright orange jackets and white hats weaved in and out, serving 16-cent sandwiches and 5-cent Cokes on McGinley's aluminum trays.