Home Cafe, Hawthorne, Nevada/ Info Please
February 2, 2009 10:53 AM   Subscribe

I need information about The Home Cafe, Hawthorne, Nevada. It was a popular Chinese and American food diner that saw some action during the civil rights sit-ins of the 1960s. They used a distinctive china pattern produced by the TEPCo China Co. in El Cerrito, CA. The TEPCo factory closed in 1968. The pattern used at the cafe was called Confucius. Any information about the Home Cafe including personal stories would be appreciated.

I began collecting the TEPCo Confucius restaurant ware several years ago and have been scouring the web for more details about the cafe that featured it.
posted by mickeefynn to Society & Culture (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Intriguing pursuit! How about contacting the Mineral County Museum?
posted by footnote at 4:06 PM on February 2, 2009


Thanks footnote! I actually HAVE contacted both the Museum and the Independent-News there. They've been really generous with any information they have about the long-since closed cafe. But few stories have surfaced as a result of the search thus far. AskMeFi was the obvious next stop. I've been looking for information about the origins of the TEPCo Confucius pattern and the Home Cafe for several years now. Even in a community of generally helpful, avid restaurantware enthusiasts, information is not forthcoming. It's my Great White!
posted by mickeefynn at 9:19 AM on February 3, 2009


An item in the Shopper's Column in the May 29th, 1957 Mineral County Independent and Hawthorne News commented "Did you see the new and colorful dishware at the Home Cafe in a Chinese Motif? Very very nice."

The next item in the column calls attention to the people spotted in the community Tuesday May 28 with Geiger counters checking on the fallout from the 12 kiloton Boltzmann shot nuclear test. The cloud from this aboveground test at the Nevada Test Site was caught by air currents and traveled unexpectedly north - northwest, according to Richard Lee Miller in Under the Cloud: The Decades of Nuclear Testing.

Apparently the prosperity of the Home Cafe caught the attention of the criminal element. During the graveyard shift at the Home Cafe on Tuesday, June 4, 1957, Mrs. Mary Schaar, the waitress on duty, had made several trips to the cash register for change for a solitary slot player. When stepped into the back to get napkins, the player was gone and the secret cash drawer under the register had been emptied of about $1000.

The next week's paper reports that the next night, Alan L. Poorman of Utah was picked up on a parole violation and confessed to the theft. He made partial restitution to cafe owner Lynn Leong.
posted by zepheria at 1:59 PM on February 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, this is just rich, super stuff. It's all there... art, food, intrigue with the night waitress and radioactivity! Big thanks to zepheria! More stories? Old timey Hawthorne info? back story? I'm listening.
posted by mickeefynn at 7:52 PM on February 4, 2009


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