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Sholl's Cafeteria: 1946

Sholl's Cafeteria: 1946

December 3, 1946. Washington, D.C. "Potomac Electric Power Co. -- commercial kitchens, restaurants and lighting. Sholl's Georgian Cafeteria, 3027 14th Street N.W." 8x10 safety negative by Theodor Horydczak. View full size.


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It smells divine!

There is so much information in this photo that my memory is filling in the aromas; freshly toasted bread, hot biscuits, hot cakes, bacon, sausage, coffee, maple syrup, etc.! Many of the things that smell the best of all are popular for Breakfast, in North America.

I would have had a very hard time deciding what to have! However, if my grandfather, who turned 40 that year, had been there for breakfast, he would have had a cup of coffee and a bowl of "mush"!

Tapioca Pudding

As a little girl, I visited and was tolerated by the ladies serving at Sholl's. I loved their puddings. I lived at the Burlington Hotel on 1120 Vermont Avenue and have many happy memories of that area from 1954 to 1956.

Raisins in the coleslaw

I'll admit, I too enjoyed the food and it was relatively inexpensive. I first started going as an undergrad at GW -- it was one of the few places that my eccentric calculus tutor found up to his standards. Maybe it was the raisins in the coleslaw, which he seemed to love so much.

Columbia Heights

This is in the Trinity Towers apartment building, just south of Irving Street on 14th Street NW. The building is now affordable units, and the retail space where Sholls was is now community space for the residents. It would have been nice if they kept the retail space, and perhaps we'd get a diner in there or something that appropriately continues the tradition of Sholls.

I miss Sholl's.

More than I miss being seven years old.

Gloves Off

Yet we all seemed to survive somehow. I almost missed the hair net. It looks so sparkly! I'd eat there then.

More Horydczak!

Dave, I've enjoyed Horydczak's work for several years, ever since his collection went up at the LoC American Memory site. Please post more of his work.

[While there are thousands of images in the collection, only a very few are available in high resolution. - Dave]


>> When was the last time you were asked if you want your eggs poached?

Yesterday at Perkins. They know what I like. Soft poached eggs on white toast with some corned beef hash. Yum!

Re: "Energy efficient" appliances

Glad to see another ridiculous notion debunked. Far from making a fridge use more energy, being frost-free does exactly the opposite. Frost on the coils greatly decreases the thermal efficiency of any refrigerator -- it's like insulation, but in the wrong place.

Speaking of which, the insulation in those old refrigerators was much less efficient, too. So were the compressors.


I'll have a slice of meatloaf, some mashed potatoes, a few hot mixed vegetables, a roll, and a serving of Jell-O with whipped topping, please. Oh, and some lemonade in a wavy glass.

Thank you, Ma'am.

Modern "energy efficient" appliances ... not true!

My 1928 double-door refrigerator uses far, FAR less power than modern versions...sure, you have to defrost the freezer once or twice a month, but the 20 minutes it takes to do this easy task more than makes up for the power those big modern frost-free power-suckers use. And I doubt too many modern refrigerators will running 81 years from now. Old technology doesn't necessarily = higher power use!

[I wonder why anyone would think that. A modern frost-free refrigerator consumes far less energy per volume unit than a 1920s refrigerator. A 30-cubic-foot Sub-Zero refrigerator uses, on average, 56 kilowatt-hours a month (1.9 kWh per cubic foot), about $5 worth of of electricity. An 8-cubic-foot GE refrigerator from 1950 used 28 kWh per month, which works out to 3.5 kWh per cubic foot -- almost twice as much electricity as a modern one. A 1920s refrigerator would be even less efficient. - Dave]

Dearb Rednow

The image is reversed. Look at the "Wonder Bread" packages, they are backward. Looks like a great place to eat!

[Thankew! Everyone hit "refresh." - Dave]

Breakfast Option No Longer Offered

Looks like the worker closest to us is operationg an egg poacher, one of my favorite breakfast choices. When was the last time you were asked if you want your eggs poached??

Stealthy Change

Little about this image may have changed in the way of interaction between staff and customer. Also, much of the technology may appear to be the same-- toasters, fluorescent lighting, electric grills, etc. What has changed is the intensity of energy consumption required to serve these appliances. Note also that at the time of this photo, natural gas utilities experienced rapid growth, both in the number of customers served as well as the roll-out of gas-fired appliances to compete with the electric companies. This image is clever marketing on PEPCO's part -- part of an effort to maintain market share in an industry that was suddenly becoming very competitive.

The food was good

at Sholl's, the service was always friendly and efficient, and, as the photo shows, it was always sparkling clean.

It was a Washington institution from 1928 until the last location (The Colonial on K Street) closed in December 2001. Business declined after the 9/11 attacks with the drop in tourism and the general economic slowdown.


One of the greatest places to get a good meal at reasonable prices in Washington! I went there often.

Little has changed

What's remarkable is how little things have changed about cafeterias like this. Photoshop in some updated clothing (gotta love those high heels) and no one would think this was 63 years ago.

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