The Very Best (Closed 2015), Weitzenkorn’s, and a Vintage Pan Am Bag – the Pottstown Lattice of Coincidence

I totally dig the kismet of the internets sometimes- and our visit to The Very Best restaurant in Pottstown, PA is a result in the “lattice of coincidence” that my neighbor and pal Rich Wilhelm hipped me to. It was a Facebook post from Rich, reposting an article his friend Matt Simmons wrote extolling the virtues of “TVB” that was the catalyst for our recent visit to this little local restaurant.

Update 2016: Sad to report that The Very Best is now closed 🙁 I’m keeping this photo and writeup up for posterity.

The Very Best, Pottstown PA

In business since 1921 and at this location since 1972, The Very Best is a knotty pine paneled lunch room with a long counter in the front and booths and tables in the back. Pleased to see the place was filled with folks when we entered, we sat at the counter and perused the menu posted above the large mirrored wall behind the counter. Burgers and dogs, cheese steaks and sandwiches are the main draw here, so we ordered an “everything” dog and a burger with fries for good measure.

Everything Dog n Fries

We had a perfect view of the busy grill, and our food totally hit the spot. Hooray! We’re psyched that we are now able to add The Very Best to our regular rotation of local places to grab a quick bite, and share it with you all on Retro Roadmap.

But now for the lattice of coincidence, part 2:

the very best

One of the great things about sitting at the counter is how easy it can be to strike up a conversation with the person seated next to you.

So when I noticed a dapper gentlman wearing a sharply pressed button down shirt and tie sit next to us, I commented that he was very well dressed for a Saturday afternoon. He said that he was working, so I quickly ventured a guess and asked if he worked at Weitzenkorn’s Men’s Shop down the street,  to which he replied, his family owned it!

Regular readers may remember how smitten we are with the Weitzenkorn’s – the 2nd oldest men’s clothing store in the country, with a beautiful neon sign. The sign was installed in the 1950’s and continues to this day to be a beacon on High street in the evenings. Isn’t this just a delightful sight?

Weitzenkorn's Men's Store Neon Sign Pottstown PA
We also love that the shop has been open “since Abraham Lincoln was president,” noted our lunch neigbor, Mark Weitzenkorn. When I mentioned that we were the folks who had written about his sign he mentioned their mural on the side of the building, as well as noting that there was a case of memorabilia located in the shop. We thanked him for this insider info and let him finish his tasty looking chili and steak sandwich and decided to pay a quick visit to his shop before we departed.

As you can see, the sign is still pretty impressive in the daytime, and the mural- based on an old photo of the store- adds to the vintage vibe of their building.

Weitzenkorn's Clothing Store

When we stepped inside the shop I was delighted to see the place neatly stocked with men’s clothing and a number of salesmen busy with customers, advising them on measurements and other tailorly delights, and made a note to come here next time Retro Roadhusband needs a new suit.

The glass case just inside the door held many treasures from the history of this family-owned business, from the hand illustrated notebook with sales tips,

Weitzenkorn's Ephemera - Fitting A Shoe

to the jaunty Alligator lamp advertising Alligator All-Weather Coats:

Alligator Coats Lamp(I LOVE THIS LAMP!!)

 Finally, as we were walking back to the car I spied a sassy vintage Pan Am travel bag hanging in the window of one of the little antique shops on High Street. I’m pretty powerless to resist vintage travel items, so it’s now mine- despite what Margie seems to think!

Pan Am Bag (Margie says, “Obviously this should belong to ME!”)

So there you have it! A welcomed addition to Retro Roadmap, a reinforcement that one of our previous additions is doing well, and an unexpected vintage find – all because of Rich Wilhelm and his Lattice of Coincidence.

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