Cape Gazette

Lou Ianire's, pink marshmallows, the peak of summer

By Dennis Forney | Aug 01, 2012
Photo by: Dennis Forney A pink marshmallow - also known as wild hibiscus.

Peak of the Summer

Marshmallows are blooming, crepe myrtles are blooming - the peak of the summer.  I took the picture of the pink marshmallows a couple of weeks ago alongside the Freeman Highway in Lewes.  Nature does some stunning stuff.  These are also known as wild hibiscus. We have white and pink varieties.  They seem to like wet areas near saltwater and the coastal air.  Tons of them line the coastal highway between Rehoboth Beach and Fenwick Island.

Lou Ianire's and historic photo

The Cape Gazette published a photograph in the Tuesday, July 31 edition showing the Front Street and Savannah Road intersection of Lewes back in the early 1970s.

I identified the blue sheet-metal building, that occupied the corner where the Graves Building now stands, as the home at the time of a restaurant known as Wes's Harbor House.  Wes Barrows had a restaurant there for a few years.  Earl Fisher called to say he never recalled Wes's Harbor House being there.  "Jim Lynch put up that building after the big fire in 1970 and then it was occupied by Hennessy's restaurant. Later it was moved out to become part of the Grotto's Grand Slam complex."

John Ellsworth agreed with me that Wes's Harbor House was there for a while.  "Absolutely," said Ellworth, "but I can't say when."

The historic photograph also jumpstarted Trish Medd's memory.  She wrote me a note and included a photo of an old menu from Lou Ianire's Restaurant, located on Front Street, and which shows clearly in the photo. Here's what Trish wrote:

"Just saw the pic in the gazette featuring Lou Ianire's restaurant!  Ah...  the good ole days of no stop lights in our wonderful little town.  Rob and I have great memories of growing up with that restaurant, as both our parents were good friends with Lou and Dolores and family.   Thought you would enjoy the attached pic... not too clear but right side is labeled "7 course full dinner"!     Gotta love those prices.  Nothing like the memories of chianti bottles with the drippy wax along with the sounds of Chubby and Rush!   (Rob and I had our first-ever dinner date there before the eighth grade prom!)  Now that's digging up some delmarvelous memories!!"

Thanks to Trish for writing.

I can still remember seeing Friday afternoon meetings of Dean Betts and Bill Lee in Ianire's.  Hanging over the bar, looking out over the canal, were a few dozen upside-down Mexican sombreros.  That always struck me as funny, as if a whole flotilla of Mexican farmers had dropped headfirst from the sky and just punched their way through the ceiling.  Lou Ianire's place - like Lou and Dolores - had lots of personality.

And then there was the Seafood Seafari that drew people from far and wide . . . .

A different time.

Here also is the historic photo that appeared in Tuesday's edition of the Gazette.


An old menu from Lou Ianire's Restaurant. (Courtesy of: Trish Medd)
The intersection of Front Street and Savannah Road in Lewes in the early 1970s - looking westward from Gills Neck Road. (Courtesy of: Lewes Historical Society - George Nocito Collection)
Comments (1)
Posted by: Barry Wayne Price | Aug 05, 2012 07:53

Dennis- I've always been told that the wild hibiscus as you have pictured in this story was used by indigenous people to make a sweet concoction from it's fleshy root. Hence the derivative name of the modern day confection marshmallow. The origin of words is always a fascination to me. Can you confirm this story?

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