October 3, 2013

[Retro Roadmap] The Lunch Counter at Sine’s 5&10 Cent Store in Quakertown, Pa.

  • By: Beth Lennon

Written by Beth Lennon, “Mod Betty” of RetroRoadmap.com

The lunch counter at Sine's 5 & 10 Cent Store in Quakertown, Pa. Credit: like, totally on Flickr

The lunch counter at Sine's 5 & 10 Cent Store in Quakertown, Pa.

In the heart of Quakertown, Pa. -- just an hour north of Philadelphia -- the cheery red exterior of Sine’s 5&10 Cent Store has been the gem in the crown of the downtown district for over 100 years.

It's not only a variety store where you can still buy everything from notebook paper and sewing notions to toys and hardware supplies, but you can also enjoy a meal or a sweet ice cream treat at their popular lunch counter and soda fountain.

From your swivel stool at the counter you’ll see many generations of the Harr family hard at work in the store, which has been in continuous operation by the same family since the store opened in 1912. Whether cooking your breakfast or lunch, operating the cash register, or prepping the displays of the latest merchandise to arrive, this is a family affair.

Daily specials are featured on the mirrored menu board on the backsplash and include homemade soups and lunch platters, as well as the expected burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches. Regional favorites scrapple and pork roll round out the breakfast menu.

The counter, anchored on the far end by an original Hires Root Beer barrel, is the gathering place for shoppers and family members alike. From regulars who meet for breakfast and the latest local news, to folks who travel from afar for the nostalgia of eating at one of the last remaining dime stores in the state, there’s a place for everyone at Sine’s.

Check out these photos from the Sine's lunch counter:

Sine's 5 & 10 Cent Store, Quakertown, Pa. Lunch Counter Exterior. RetroRoadmap.com. Credit: Beth Lennon

Family-owned and operated since 1912, Sine’s facade was updated in 1956 with this still-striking red exterior.

Sine's 5 & 10 Cent Store, Quakertown, Pa. Lunch Counter. RetroRoadmap.com. Credit: Beth Lennon

Even if you’re not a regular at Sine’s, you can pick from one of the many mugs that are lined up behind the counter.

Sine's 5 & 10 Cent Store, Quakertown, Pa. Lunch Counter Menu RetroRoadmap.com. Credit: Beth Lennon

Open for breakfast and lunch until 2 p.m. and ice cream until the store closes, the counter is the place to grab a meal or a quick bite.

Sine's 5 & 10 Cent Store, Quakertown, Pa. Lunch Counter Interior. RetroRoadmap.com. Credit: Beth Lennon

Not only a full service store, Sine’s is also an unofficial museum of retail history and vintage ephemera, courtesy of the collections of patriarch Bill Harr.

Sine's 5 & 10 Cent Store, Quakertown, Pa. Lunch Counter Sandwich RetroRoadmap.com. Credit: Beth Lennon

Whethere you’re looking for a hearty meal or a simple sandwich and cup of coffee, you’ll find it served with care on the vintage restaurant china still in use at Sine’s.

Want to Visit Sine's?

Sine's 5 & 10 Cent Store

236-240 W. Broad St.

Quakertown, PA 18951

Ed. note: We're pleased to welcome Mod Betty to PreservationNation! Over the next few weeks, she'll be sharing a series on older and historic lunch counters along the East Coast. For more great heritage travel recommendations, check out her blog, RetroRoadmap.com.

This Preservation Month, let's celebrate and explore historic places, starting with one action a day through the month of May. We can’t wait to see what you accomplish!

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