--Photo courtesy Eddie Best, White County Historical Society
was delighted to read in the April 7 issue of the Citizen that Christy Brooks and David Stracener have reopened the old Rendezvous Café in the place where it served as a midpoint stopover between Dallas and St. Louis on old Highway 67 in downtown Searcy.
The memories that brings back.
Before the Rendezvous moved to the site of the new restaurant and bus station, the Rendezvous had opened in a spacious wide open location on North Spring Street across from the Mayfair Hotel. Earcy and Myrtle Roberson made a hit of that place during the depths of the Great Depression and I ate many a Sunday lunch there with my family. I remember I particularly liked to spread butter on those wonderful hot rolls and then pour a little sugar on that and eat, eat, eat.
At the time, the place where the Rendezvous was built was still old First Presbyterian Church with a particularly tall, sharp steeple that looked from the ground as if it went up forever. I spent my childhood in that church and it was with some sadness that I hung around to watch the workmen pull that steeple down with lots of long ropes. I remember that it fell just where they hoped it would …to the northwest, missing the service station across the street and the Chandler Funeral Home on the opposite corner. The dust and bricks flew everywhere.
But then the new Rendezvous opened and it was a great place where everybody went for Sunday lunch and visited around with old friends at other tables. And every politician worth his salt made it there Sunday noon to do the same.
The Senior Prom was held there in 1949 and we danced the night away in the upstairs ballroom that was also the locale for civic club meals. I was there once a week for Lions Club meetings for a few years after I returned from college and before we chartered a Rotary Club in 1959.
The story about the new restaurant didn’t mention a special favorite meal that Corner Boyett and I enjoyed once every two weeks or so. We went over on the day when the special was fried salt pork and white beans and cornbread, a veritable feast for those who like such things, and we did. But that was in the days when folks weren’t so health conscious and dieting was a private never-mentioned matter.
I hated to see the old restaurant close but it was a victim of the bypass on Highway 67 that no longer passed by outside and new travelers never saw the place or knew of its fame to a whole generation of people. vvv