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Duck Inn: 1979

Duck Inn: 1979

The Duck Inn, Charlottesville, Virginia. From a series of pictures I took when I was a first year student at U-Va. in 1979. On Main Street, across the street from the Amtrak station. There's just nothing like a "Home Cooken Chicken Dinner" from the Duck Inn! View full size.

On Shorpy:
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Familiar Roof Line

Looks like "Ham Gravy" nailed it. The style of the roof, that is.

Musical Roof

Stab "Accordion Roof" into Google's image search. They were very popular in the mid-20th century. (My dentist's office features one.) BTW, the Duck Inn/Mel's sign remains, mostly, waiting to be re-neonized. You listenin', Mel?


I believe the building was originally a One Hour Martinizing location.

W Shaped Roofline

is reminiscent of some prior chain of Gas or Fast Food, but Google isn't helping me. Anybody?

gud spelink nut requrred

But I'll have a Lady Ann Deluxe any day!

Looked Old in '79, Looks Better Now

It's now Mel's Cafe at 719 W. Main. The building was maybe 20-25 years old when frobozz shot it in 1979. 37 years later, it at least looks open, and even garners 4.5 stars on Yelp.

Now called Mel's

Mel's Cafe

That building has been Mel's Cafe since I was in school there in the late 1990s. I used to get work done by a great independent mechanic that operated out of Hiter's.


Became a Chinese take-out of fairly sketchy aspect. I had friends who insisted they served good food, but since my wife-to-be (from the area) made a yowling, distressed cat sound every time we drove past it, I could never bring myself to give it a try.

Let's Duck Inn

"Here for a while to rest our weary bones"

Or jokes like that, which probably abounded by all and sundry who lived, worked, or visited the place.

West Main's changed quite a bit

That building still exists, though. John Shepherd also did some photographs of that stretch of West Main in the '70s.

Similar inn name

Reminds me of a motel in the Manitoba beach town we visit annually: the Dew Drop Inn.

Used Cars

"Vokswagens." (Standard greeting: "Hei!")

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