Saturday, March 13, 2010
In 1933, Don Valle opened a small restaurant in Portland; so small it had only 12 seats. From 1933-1980 the Valle Steak House chain stretched from Maine to Florida with 34 restaurants under its mantle. Their specialty was a lobster and steak repast. The first one I remember seeing was the one that was in the heart of Woodfords Corner, directly across from the Odd Fellows Hall. It was a landmark at the corner from '33 til 1960. I remember the popular dining place stretched both ways to the railroad tracks almost in one direction and to the old Cinema Theater in the other. Walking by on the narrow sidewalk, you almost felt like you were sitting in a booth with the patrons. In beginning of the 60's, Valle's moved to a brand new, ultra modern looking building on outer Brighton Avenue, where it thrived for awhile and then 'died' a quiet death. It would soon to be inhabited with a run of restaurants, that never quite matched the dream of the modern steakhouse. Seen here is the latest one to attempt a go at it: Kon's Asian Bistro. Bon Appetite!