Do You Remember Yoken’s Restaurant in Portsmouth, New Hampshire?
I'm so fascinated with local folklore and am something of a foodie. My fiancee and I love to go out to eat and try new restaurants as often as we can.
So, one afternoon on Lafayette (aka Route 1, depending on whom is giving directions) we passed the eye catching if not odd looking sign reading "Thar She Blows" "Yoken's: Good Things To Eat" lettered into a friendly looking Moby Dick the whale in a retro, multi-bulb style reminiscent of 1960s Las Vegas.
The quirky sign (and the implication it must be a seafood place) was enough for us to pull in only to find a bank parking lot off the road.
A quick Google search led me to an all too-common story of a mid-century American business.
Yoken's family restaurant and their famous sign went up in Portsmouth in 1947, according to a patch.com article. It seems the customers of the restaurant were loyal but as the 90s turned into the 2000s, the clientele were mainly the regulars. This combined with the Macleod family wanting to retire, according to seacoastonline.com, led to a swan song for the place in 2004.
Its unforgettable sign remained and almost disappeared as the original restaurant building for Yoken's did. But it was eventually salvaged, repaired and back to its glory in 2015, another seacoastonline.com stated, and holds court over the site of the former chow house now a plaza called "Yoken's Commons," while also intriguing the passer-by who either isn't old enough or wasn't around into what the past may have held on the spot.
The Yoken's sign is clearly a landmark NH sign, and I'm sure the place holds many memories for all you Granite Staters.
Do you remember Yoken's?