I was talking with a buddy the other day and we began to talk about some of the old times we shared growing up as teens and in our early 20’s and dating. It was always interesting where our young dates were going to take us to “wine and dine” us. It was fun to reminisce and sad to think that most of the places I was wined and dined at no longer exist, and this got me thinking…
My first real date was with a fellow named Ricky and he (and his parents) took me to a place called the Smugglers Inn right on Broadway. Back then, it was a nice place, and one could even call it “fine dinning.” I was pretty much taken by this. I had just turned 16 and was on my first official date and I thought the place was wonderful. Of course, it no longer exists and was torn down, but it carries my first real memories of dating.
Another place I went to on dates was Bobby McGee’s. It was on Tanque Verde and was a cool place that a date could entertain me with great food and music. What I liked about this place was the staff wore costumes bearing the likeness to comic book, movie, TV, or well-known historic and contemporary personalities. It made your date rather unforgettable. Of course, it is no longer there.
Come to think of it, neither is the Solarium which made for a very fun and “elegant” night. This restaurant/nightclub had class. I recall really getting dressed up to go to this place. It was most beautiful. It was a wood and glass building that was layered into three levels. The food was good and I loved their seafood, and normally they booked great live bands. I often requested a date at the Solarium, well until it got a little too hip for me.
I enjoyed eating and dancing at the Barons on Golf Links. Again, it was nice dining and good music. It really was the “in” place for a date, though I always felt it was a military hangout as well and way too many of the military boys would get drunk and ruin a good night. So we did not go there as often but they sure did have good bands.
Another place that I went an a few dates was The Iron Mask, which I believe was on Grant Road. It sort of looked like a castle and the waitresses dressed like old English maids. Their food was rather odd and had what I thought was an English flair to it. I enjoyed the atmosphere, and yep, that place is no longer there anymore
One of my favorite Italian places which was the Spaghetti Company/Factory was located on Alvernon and 29th and I loved eating there. Maybe it was their clam sauce or the spumoni ice cream, maybe it was just the simplicity of the place. No matter, I loved eating in the cable cars and being cared for with food and fun and you guessed it, this place is no longer there either.
None of my favorite dating hangouts are here in Tucson any longer, may they rest in peace. I am left with a great deal of memories and a good taste in my mouth of what Tucson had to offer me in the 70’s as I dated. As I grow, I see Tucson evolve some changes good, some changes have been sad, but one thing I know, is that Tucson really has gone through a lot of changes…what were your dating hangouts that are no longer here with us?