Aunt Hattie's was a St. Petersburg landmark since opening in 1939 as a hamburger joint. By the time my mother made a habit of visiting in the 1970s, Aunt Hattie's had a new building and had expanded to become a pleasant sit-down restaurant known for its toy chest. I remember waiting for my chance to seize a prize after I cleaned my plate.
In a St. Petersburg Times article, Elizabeth Whitney recalls: "It was oranges in the foyer free for the taking, the player piano beating out East Side, West Side, hostesses in Gay Nineties garb, the children's treasure chest of free gifts . . . The servings were big; the prices were low."
A 1968 postcard reveals a much revamped restaurant, like the rambling building that I remember. Unfortunately, after suffering a rash of problems in the early eighties, including a much-publicized incident involving a dining room rat-attack and flood damage from a hurricane, Aunt Hattie's closed in 1985.
Do you have any memories of Aunt Hattie's? Please leave a comment.