Red apples, polar bears and wishbones
Then: The Red Apple Restaurant and Grocery was at 3421 N. Broadway
until about 1950. On its right was a root beer stand and, on its left, a Conoco filling
There was a short, delightful era of architecture during the first part of the 1900s,
probably not very important or memorable, but an awful lot of fun. Playful architects
designed and built numerous structures right out of fantasy land. For lack of a better
name, we'll call this the "Folk Art Style."
Filling stations, restaurants and tourists cabins especially were transformed into
teepees, igloos, fruit, hats, animals, story-book characters, windmills, lighthouses and
numerous other eye-catchers. Perhaps the most famous of this style was the Brown Derby in
Hollywood where the stars dined.
Wichita joined in on the fun, too. On the southwest corner of Oliver and Central was
the Polar Bear Frozen Custard Stand, housed in a large iceberg. Farther down the street
was a prohibition era road house with a picturesque roof right out of the Black Forest,
later known as the Wishbone Building.
And my favorite as a child was the Red Apple Restaurant, 3421 N. Broadway, gleaming
like a ripe Jonathan, with a crooked green smokestack for a stem. It just had to be
Only the Wishbone is left. It is dismantled and in bad shape but restorable if the will
can be found to do it.
Now: The location today is occupied by an auto body shop.