Includes mentions of Northampton, Smith and Mt. Holyoke Colleges
Restaurant-ing through history
College and high school students of the 20th century led many eating-out trends and customs. Not only did they help make certain foods popular, they also influenced meal habits and adopted frequent restaurant-going as part of their social lives.
Drive-ins, coffee houses, and vegetarian restaurants were some of the types of eating places heavily shaped by student patrons in the middle and later decades of the last century. But a bit earlier, in the early 20th century, the eating places of choice for many college students were tea rooms that attracted women students. Not than men students didn’t also like tea rooms. An example was The Cactus Tea Room, built in 1917 with weird carvings of university types adorning its eaves, and serving both male and female students at the University of Texas in Austin.
Although tea rooms were more likely to be found near residential colleges, high school…
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I miss tea rooms! I used to go to the last one near Wesleyan University (alas, I can’t remember the name of it) as a youngster and loved it. Sadly, all have been replaced by coffee shops where no one interacts, they just stare at their laptops and cell phones.