>> The Pine Club flexes its muscles against competitors in Best of Dayton 2018
A view of the Pine Club in 1958. DAYTON DAILY NEWS / WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
2. Hurry up and wait
Waiting for a table is an established tradition at the Pine Club. Lloyd Meinzer, who bought the restaurant in 1953, once told the Dayton Daily News:
“I wouldn’t add a chair if you fixed it up and gave it to me. A customer who goes into a dining room that is half full is thinking negatively. If there’s a long waiting list, he’s saying, ‘Gee, the food must be good here.’”
3. Steadfast rules
The Pine Club never takes reservations. Ever. And they don’t take credit cards.
4. No sweets
The Pine Club doesn’t serve dessert. “Honey, we got enough trouble with the steaks and the potatoes,” a waitress joked with Dayton Daily News food writer Ann Heller in 1978.
>> Classic Dayton restaurants you have to try and love
Pine Club owner Lloyd Meinzer in 1978. DAYTON DAILY NEWS / WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
5. Secret to sitting down
Vice President George Bush cracked the code for getting a table without a wait during a campaign visit in 1988. “The Secret Service came in about a half hour to 45 minutes before the vice president,” said then assistant manager Dan Nooe. “They put in his name. The Secret Service waited for him.”
>> BEST OF DAYTON WINNERS: Best classic restaurant | Best fine dining