The aroma was intriguing, delicious and inviting as my family and I entered Stub's House of Plenty in downtown Spencer. Stub's was the elite of its time before the introduction of fast food restaurants. We sat in one of the six dark red booths on the north side of the restaurant. It was interesting to watch the patrons. Stub's had a casual atmosphere and a great location. Though it was located on Grand, there was sufficient parking in the back. It attracted people from surrounding businesses and towns. Spencer citizens would regularly visit also. Especially remembered were some Daily Reporter staff, Spencer post office employees, men's clothing shop (Hansen's, Squire Shop, Eddie Quinn, Morony's) employees to night time bowlers. Stub's had a general menu but carried a variety of homemade pies: blueberry, apple, cherry, pumpkin, pecan, strawberry rhubarb, custard, banana cream, coconut cream, lemon and sour cream raisin.
When I worked at Stub's in 1979, my serving area was the second horseshoe shaped counter. In the afternoon, business patrons would drop in for some coffee. I got to know my customers likes and dislikes. When they entered the back door, I'd quickly dish up their favorite pie and their coffee. The coffee was set on the counter the same time they sat down. However, I'd hold their pie in my hand and ask if they wanted it. Most of the time it wasn't turned down.
Stub's was an enjoyable place to work. "Waitresses", as servers were termed back then, wore red and white pocketed pinafore aprons that tied on the sides. There was an emblem of a red apple with a green stem sewed on the front. There were no "bussers" in that era. Waitresses were responsible for clearing their own tables. During the "rush", the faster a serving area was cleared, the faster customers could sit, be waited on and receive their food. This meant more money for the business and waitress. Cherry coke was made by a squirt of cherry syrup in a glass of regular Coke. Lemonade and Orange drink were available from a cascading fountain dispenser. Ice cream or frozen malt was hand-dipped into a tall tin malt cup. A shake or malt was time-consuming to make, especially during rush hour. When it came time to pay the bill, change was always counted back to the customer without help from technology.
The times have changed but memories of Stub's House of Plenty: the tasty food, friendly service and relaxed atmosphere linger in Stub's customers minds with a smile.