The former Denny's on Haines Road was a hangout for a couple of generations of York County high school students, newly licensed teens who warmed the vinyl booths before the late-night crowd rolled into one of the area's first 24-hour eateries.
The restaurant has long been shuttered and is gone now, one of numerous structures demolished or in the process of being demolished to make way for an interchange improvement that has been years in the making.
And Yorkers might still have a chance to bid on items from some buildings as the demos proceed.
PennDOT purchased the buildings for condemnation as part of a $60 million project at Interstate 83's Exit 18, Prospect Street, spokesman Mike Crochunis said.
The project will include a major reconstruction of the heavily traveled interchange to improve traffic safety and flow in the areas of Mount Rose Avenue in Spring Garden Township and Haines Road in Springettsbury Township.
Coming down: Razing of the buildings signals the start of the right-of-way phase, though the project isn't going to bid until January; the state doesn't like the abandoned buildings to stand for long, as they're vulnerable to fire or break-in, Crochunis said.
PennDOT has settled on 35 of the 60 parcels needed for the project, and three are in the process of razing: a single family home, the former Denny's, and a former Yowza Water on the corner of Mount Rose and Haines roads, Crochunis said.
Several more are pending final demolition plans, including two single-family dwellings, a Pacific Pride gas station, the former Mexitaly restaurant and the Budget Host Inn hotel, he said.
Auctions held: The state's Department of General Services salvages anything valuable from the buildings and conducts auctions to recoup some of the cost, said general services press secretary Troy Thompson.
Nostalgia aside, nothing at the former Denny's had resale value because the booths and furniture were in poor condition, Thompson said.
But an auction that included items from Mexitaly and the Budget Host Inn ended last week, and some savvy bidders might have gotten some bargains in restaurant and hotel goods, ranging from a pizza oven to a snow blower.
Lots of as many as eight rooms' worth of hotel beds, chairs, dressers, tables, TVs, microwaves, and refrigerators sold for $57. Buyers were picking up the items Thursday and Friday.
"Sometimes you get a bargain, sometimes you don't," Thompson said. "It depends on their conditions, and I'm assuming these weren't flat-screen televisions."
Buyers have to be able to haul the items and store them if they don't have an immediate purpose, which might be beyond the means of many consumers, he said.
Future auctions of York items have not yet been scheduled, but it's likely the state will come across more goods as the project progresses, Thompson said.
— Reach Christina Kauffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.