Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The End of an Era: Picadilly Closes its doors for the final time 6/16/14

The Picadilly at Almeda Mall has closed its doors for the final time on Monday, June 16, 2014.

It was the last Picadilly in operation in Texas. It had opened with the Mall in 1968 and was a staple for families throughout the 70s. When Luby's opened at Baybrook Mall in 1979, Picadilly hung in there. It outlasted them, in fact. 

As the one of the very last original tenants in Almeda, it is truly the end of an era. 

I remember the great ape statues that were often the receptacle of folks' extinguished cigarettes. I remember walking its long dimly lit hall, waiting in long lines sometimes, to finally get to those trays and rolled silverware in green cloth napkins, and slide past all those options. I always had to get the shiny green squares of jello to start, macaroni and cheese in the middle, and always finished with a giant piece of chocolate meringue pie. 

It was a place my grandmother would take me, and we'd pick out a booth, if we were lucky, and people watch as we ate off our individual bowls and plates, as the cart lady would come around and around, and you'd often wave to someone you knew. On Sundays, you'd be waving to half the restaurant.  

Farewell, Picadilly. You are another part of my childhood, of my home, that fills me with smiles and a few tears for your inevitable end. 

Thanks to Gary Hooks for sharing the final photos, taken today.

Home is so sad. It stays as it was left,
Shaped in the comfort of the last to go
As if to win them back. Instead, bereft
Of anyone to please, it withers so,
Having no heart to put aside the theft.

And turn again to what it started as,
A joyous shot at how things ought to be,
Long fallen wide. You can see how it was:
Look at the pictures and the cutlery
The music in the piano stool. That vase.

"Home Is So Sad" ~Philip Larkin

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