Was Rube's where Wimpy's used to be? Rube's used to be on Flushing Rd. on the side of the plaza. What ever happened to Wimpy's?
Oh, man, do I have some memories of Rube's. It used to be THE place to go slummin' for the 30-somethings two decades ago. And the blues was (were?) often damn good there. Then, eventually, too many people had too much to drink and fell off barstools repeatedly and had to be carted out bodily. It wasn't pretty and half the time I had to do the driving back down Flushing Road. Oh well, life goes on. Sorry we've lost the artifact of those dangerously rowdy times.
To West Side ...My Grandpa Eugene "Babe" La Branche was the owner and when he passed away the restaurant closed sadly. I was too young to remember, but my mom said I had visited the restaurant and grandpa fed me octopus..YUK..but I guess I liked it then! :) My mom said he started out on Saginaw St. for just a little bit before making its main home on Chevrolet. It made it much easier because the family lived on Bagley! Our family still has the cash register grandpa used in the store...very cool!
I think the man called Babe owned what was once Wimpy's. I remember my parents talking about a man called Babe. Wimpy's had great hamburgers. To this day, I haven't had any that tasted better, though The Home Dairy burgers were similar. They had a neon sign in the shape of the cartoon character Wimpy.
Thanks for the info on your grandfather. It's great to know the history of another spot in Flint, even if it is empty now. And Babe La Branche has to be one of the greatest names ever. It sounds like a character in a novel. Feel free to add anything else you remember. And send me a digital photo of Babe if you have one. I'd be honored to post it.
Wimpy's was in between Mudge's Market and the Barber Shop. That's as specific as I can get. It looks like Rube's took over the spot on Chevrolet Ave., after being around the corner on Flushing Rd. behind the clothing store.The only other piece of information I can remember my parents saying was that Babe was a friend of a man named Tom Sutter. I have no idea who he was, but apparently my parents knew him. I remember Babe kind of looking like "Mr. Clean". :)
Not anymore. The Ambassador just recently shut it's doors. My grandfather was a regular there most of his life.
Thanks for commenting. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at www.teardownbook.com.