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Valian's Galley Smorgasbord At 6638 South Main St.

Highrise Tower

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I remember the Galley sign but not the restaurant. I don't think it was around for long.

That location was the Ship Ahoy until at least 1960. It was a well-known traditional full service restaurant that had originally been downtown.

A few years later, it was the Cathay House, which was also full service. It was around until at least the mid 1970s.


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On 9/8/2022 at 9:30 PM, Highrise Tower said:

What type of restaurant is Galley Smorgasbord exactly? A buffet?

I don't think the restaurant type is "galley smorgasbord."  The ad is for "Valian's Galley," which offers a smorgasbord.  You are correct to infer that it is a type of buffet.  Almost always a Scandinavian or northern German one, but the term is often used for very large buffets, like at banquets.


Smorgasbords were more common back in the 1950's through the 70's, before Scandinavians became almost fully assimilated into American culture.  Also, because people used to entertain at home more often and more extravagantly in the past, and you'd have a bunch of people over for a smorgasbord.  It was a sign of wealth and hospitality to provide a banquet for your friends.  There were even entire brands of beer marketed to for these events.  Löwenbräu was one.  I still remember its jingle: "Here's to good friends / Tonight is kind of special / The beer you'll pour / must say something more, somehow. / So tonight, let it be Löwenbräu."

There was another beer that marketed itself as "the banquet beer," but I don't remember the name.  Perhaps because it didn't have a jingle!


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