Eureka! A Great Photo of the Long-Gone But Never Forgotten Davis White Spot Restaurant!



photo courtesy Robert Wire

Well, I can finally cross one of the items off my "Most Wanted" list, because I finally located a rare, never-before-seen photo of Davis' White Spot Restaurant, which stood on Poplar, east of Estate.

I would feel much better if I could say that I found this after years of diligent research, but all credit must go to my Indianapolis pal, Robert Wire, who knew the owners of this establishment back when it was in business in the 1940s and 1950s, and has already sent me a nice shot of Robert and Pearl Winfield (and others), inside their cozy house, which was attached to the restaurant.

But this is what I really wanted to see: a nice, clear, exterior shot, showing it just the way everyone said it would look — a handsome white clapboard structure.

Here's what Robert has to say about this photo:

"Attached you will find the exterior shot of the White Spot I promised.  I believe it was taken circa 1955.  That date must be fairly close because the Mercury sitting in front of the employees' entrance is a 1953 or 1954 Mercury (Robert Winfield’s car).  The 1949 Ford next to it is my Dad’s.  

"This shot was taken from out in the parking lot, not the most photogenic side of the building but better than nothing. The gardens would have been behind the photographer. It’s actually a good resolution photo considering it was probably made with a Kodak box camera!

"My daughter Elisabeth actually found this photo after I gave her some hints about what to look for. If you examine the photo very carefully with a magnifying glass, on the right next to the roofline you will be able to see part of the White Spot sign."

Robert concludes with this plea: "The main reason I contacted you in the first place was in the hope that other people/customers would have more photos and memories of the place. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be the case, but thanks for getting it out there on your blog."

Well, Robert, a lot of people DO remember it, so maybe this will spark some additional memories, or make people realize, "Hey, I think I've got a picture of some place like that in a scrapbook somewhere." If they do, you'll read about it here first.

And here's a special offer for anyone really interested in this place. This blog only allows me to post low-resolution images; so if any of my readers need a high-res version of this building, just contact me and I'll email it to you (askvance@memphismagazine.com). Yep, that's the kind of guy I am. Just one request (a demand, really): If you post it somewhere, you MUST give credit to Robert Wire (with special thanks to his daughter, Elisabeth). This would be a blank page here if it weren't for him.

Now, how about those Tropical Freeze photos, folks? C'mon!

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Ask Vance

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Ask Vance is the blog of Vance Lauderdale, the award-winning columnist of Memphis magazine and MBQ: Inside Memphis Business.  Vance is the author of three books: Ask Vance: The Best Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History and Trivia Expert (2003), as well as Ask Vance: More Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History Expert (2011) and Vance Lauderdale's Lost Memphis (2013). He is also the recipient of quite a few nice awards, the creator of several eye-catching wall calendars, and the only person we know with a vintage shock-treatment machine in his den. 

You can find him from time to time in the pages of the Memphis Flyer and MBQ, on WKNO television, and on Facebook. When he is not exploring the highways and byways of Memphis, he spends his time sleeping, napping, and dozing.

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