Still not truly motivated for creative blogging… Laurie and I are still recovering from our bout with Covid and it hasn’t been much fun. I still tested positive at the doctor’s office on Wednesday. We’ll self-test again on Saturday.
Nevertheless, it’s time for me to continue posting scenes and events from our Michigan trip which also included attractions in Indiana and Ohio.
While visiting my mother’s old home town in Concord Michigan, it was time for lunch. After all, we’d only had a ‘snack’ at the Hampton Inn’s breakfast bar in Jackson. We had plenty of time to recover from lunch before meeting cousins for dinner…
When my mom still lived in Concord, what is now Mel’s Place was the home of “The Silver Spoon”, a place for the locals to gather for a meal and exchange gossip. They made great breakfasts too and the Jackson are bicyclists loved it as a Saturday or Sunday morning stopover.
This building is yet another portion of downtown Concord that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building dates from the 1880s.
As it was when it was the Silver Spoon, the inside of Mel’s Place is simple and quite basic, a typical small town diner in an old downtown location. It has been freshened up and the variety of chandeliers does add interest. A few bits of art work or country related items on the wall would add some more interest…
Mel’s Place is open from 6 AM until 2 PM Monday through Saturday. In other words, as reflected by the menu they serve breakfast and lunch. While the menu is simple, it covers most folk’s wants and needs. The owner, Melissa Teubert, told us that she’d bought the place about 2 years ago and that a couple of other operators had restaurants here after the Silver Spoon closed… It had sat empty for a bit as well. Melissa had been in the health care industry for over 30 years and she just wanted to try something different. Like everywhere else these days, she did have a help-wanted sign posted, so business must be OK.
For my lunch I ordered a cheeseburger and a side order of American fries. ($9.45) The burger was juicy and the American fries were perfect.
When in doubt or when she can’t make up her mind, Laurie always reverts to her ‘go to’ sandwich if it’s on the menu. She had the patty melt with French fries. ($9.70) The sandwich was very good and the French fries were decent.
Mel’s Place is located at 122 South Main Street in Concord Michigan. Phone: 517-895-6100. This restaurant opened in July of 2021, given the Covid epidemic, it wasn’t a particularly auspicious time for any restaurant to open. Still, as per 27 Google reviews, Mel’s place scored a 4.8 out of 5.
Well, we should have been done filling our face but then, as we explored other parts of Jackson itself, we came across an old favorite and a true landmark.
In mid-afternoon Laurie and I were driving around in the near east side of Jackson, right after stopping at the old and still operating railway depot…when we spotted Schlenker’s! Talk about a place that has stood the test of time! Schlenker’s has been operating since 1927…ninety-five years in total and counting…
Laurie said, and to the best of my memory I quote, “We can’t just pass by, we have to stop in and at least share a burger”. Who am I to argue with my boss? As you can see, Schlenker’s is not fancy nor is it large! There are 14 stools in total around a u-shaped counter. Still, it is more spacious than it used to be.
Note the doors at the rear of this photo from 1996. Back in the days before ‘expansion’, customers who wanted to sit at the left side of the counter had to come in the left hand door and vice versa for those who wanted seating on the right side. A small extension allowed for a single door entrance and room for customers around the end of the counter. One thing that hasn't changed is that strangers actually talk to each other when dining here!
This is not onw of the actual burgers that we ordered…because I forgot to take photos… The other problem is that we didn’t order just one burger, but rather one each…which we promptly scarfed down! Like this one, our burgers came wrapped in paper. Despite having several different owners over the years, not one of those owners has changed the menu... Why screw up a good thing?! Even the quality is still there. Also, Laurie loves the fact that Schlenker’s has always cut the burgers in half…easier to handle and less messy.
But after enjoying the burgers, did we stop there?! Of course not! We still had 4 hours before dinner so we decided to share a slice of banana cream pie. We did help sales that day…as another customer took one look at the pie and he ‘had to’ order a slice for his take out order. Note: The pies sold at Schlenker’s come from the Grand Traverse Pie Company and they are excellent!
One of Schlenker’s employees volunteered to take our photo and we readily accepted her offer. Laurie and I have good memories here.
I even have work memories related to Schlenker’s… When I was with Montgomery Ward and visiting our store in Jackson or passing by to visit our Detroit market, I stopped for a burger with whichever team member I was touring with. In one instance, my regional director surprised us on a Saturday morning when he appeared in the Chicago headquarters with a cooler full of Schlenker’s burgers! The treat was appreciated by all… Thanks John!
Schlenker’s Sandwich Shop is located at 1104 East Ganson Street in Jackson Michigan. Phone: 517-783-1667. They are on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/schlenkerssandwichshop/.
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them...
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave