The Old Spaghetti Factory on York Street

by | Oct 22, 2019 | Pic of the Week | 0 comments

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Kathy Lyons shared this item from her scrapbook. It’s the liquor menu from the Old Spaghetti Factory, a restaurant that opened on York Street in the Byward Market in 1975 and closed in 1986. In other words, it lasted only a decade, but that was long enough to make an impact on the fine citizens of Ottawa, who still remembered everything from the food to the drinks and the trolley car inside. 

It was very popular in the Fern Bar Era. I was there several times. Possibly on account of those cheap drinks!

I also used to laugh at the brochure they had on spaghetti farming …

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Christopher: Wasn’t there a lime-type cocktail called “Jump Up and Kiss Me?” Am I making that up?

Richard: One drink was “Jump Up and Kiss Me.” The other was “The Conductor.” Both great. 

Janet: You know, …I may still have the glass for one of those beverages.

Max:  If you ordered either of those drinks you got to keep the glass.

Lori: I still have a “Jump Up and Kiss Me.” 

Diane: I have one of those glasses!

Cindy: Me, too! 

Darlene: I loved their “Alabama Slammer,” a cocktail served in a very large glass. Southern Comfort was very popular in those days!

Antonio: I’m curious about the “bar gin” that is cheaper than Beefeater …

Catherine: Drambuie for $1.50. Give me two!

Paul: Double Remy Martin, please.

Douglas: It adjoined another bar/nightclub in the Byward Market called “Scotland Yard.” Used to go there with post-high school friends in the 1980s.

Pat: I went there in high school. They never asked for ID!

Nancy: We used to go the Spaghetti Factory all the time. Great food and the last time I was in, there seated at the next table was Champ Champagne [prominent Ottawa Jazz musician, who was musical director of CJOH and did the themes for Galloping Gourmet and Uncle Willy and Floyd and performed on many other shows].

Susan: I think the Old Spaghetti Factory had a hard time competing with Mother Tucker’s and Oregano’s in the Byward Market area, but I loved their their lasagna and spaghetti and meatballs, as well as their great selection of Italian wines. Prices were very reasonable. 

Jocelyne: A time when going out was affordable, the food and drinks were great, and the ambiance super fun.

Ann: When it first opened, basic spaghetti and tomato sauce was $1.99.

Janice: Remember you could order a plate of spaghetti noodles with four different sauces in the four quadrants?

Monica: I used to eat the lasanga, warm mini loaf bread with garlic butter, then the Spumoni ice cream. Almost rolled out of there, I was so stuffed! 

Kim: We went there for lunch to celebrate our Grade 12 graduation on the last day of high school. The sourdough bread was so delicious.

Richard: With the knife sticking out of it.

Gail: Had a few great Christmas parties there over the years.

Jeitra: Had my 18th birthday there! Still have the menu that everyone signed that night, including my folks .I won’t say how long ago that was!

Sheila: I remember going to a restaurant downtown with train inside? Was that the Old Spaghetti Factory? 

Suzanne: It was a streetcar. 

Kij: Who could forget the streetcar inside the restaurant!

Louise: My father built that streetcar.

Richard: The kids would always be disappointed if we didn’t get a place in the trolley. It was great place where a family on a limited budget could always count on a great evening out. Still miss it.

Emma: Wait a second. We had an Old Spaghetti Factory? Now I’m craving some spaghetti with mizithra and browned butter …

Lois: If you find the mizithra, please get me some!