The Manchester Journal's July 7 article on the demolition of the Sirloin Saloon indeed denoted the end of an era, but offered no real meat to the historic meaning this place had for so many of a once iconic eatery; now to be replaced by yet another humdrum shopping center.
To countless travelers and Manchester regulars, the real historical significance of the now destroyed mill site was the Sirloin Saloon; an early expression of founder Tony Perry's imagination, vision, creativity and commercial gambling.
From its rather rowdy dancehall and hamburger beginnings as the Five Flys, the Sirloin Saloon matured to a full-fledged, greatly successful top quality steak, chicken and lobster-tail restaurant. Perry overcame initial failures to give birth to a venue many will long remember for shared camaraderie, friendships made, consistently top quality affordable dining; offered up in comfortable surroundings by friendly and fun waitresses amidst a rustic atmosphere of Tiffany lampshades and North American animal mounts.
For a bunch of us, weekend retreats to the Saloon after hard days of hunting, fishing or skiing were icing on the cakes of many great days in Manchester in years gone by. So many wonderful memories, so many stories, the long parade of people we knew, lots of friends, and if the walls of the Sirloin Saloon could have talked, what stories could be heard?
Thank you, Anthony Perry, for having created a wonderful landmark in our lives; the Manchester Sirloin Saloon. It always spoke to me that when Tony took his hands off the tiller, the original Saloon and all his other Sirloin Saloons, Dakotas, Perry's Fish House and Sweetwaters all foundered. Maybe their spirits died?
Santa Fe, New Mexico