Among the Mecca’s long-term goals is to become one of the most well-known historic restaurants in our state. To achieve that end, we knew we would have to do a better job of commemorating the past, so our customers can learn more about how we became who we are. Thanks to our friends at SC Data, we had a bunch of our old newspaper clippings and photos digitized this year. While this was an important step in preserving those memories, it was only part of a larger process.
Of late, we’ve been working on a project to create a visual guide to the history of the Mecca, from 1930 to the present. We’re excited to announce that this idea has now come to fruition. It started one Saturday afternoon in 2011, on a routine trip to the basement when I ran across a random box of stuff from the 1970’s. Naturally curious about a history I’d only heard about second-hand, I began to snoop around here and there over the course of the next several months. The piles of clippings were beginning to take over my entire house, when my wife came up with the idea of putting some of them up on the wall.
I loved the idea immediately, but didn’t say anything to my dad for months. While I knew the idea would be something that appealed to him, I was afraid of the price tag. The whole thing seemed like it would be so expensive, and my dad is very careful with money. I decided to look into it anyway, just in case.
That was when someone at the State Archives referred me to Etherington Conservation Services in Browns Summit, North Carolina. My contact was Erin McGovern, who did a fabulous job of helping us shape this project (I believe we exchanged 973 emails.) She educated me in the basics of newspaper preservation, and helped me realize that this whole thing would be doable. I got Dad’s okay, and, by July, we’d gotten all the pieces back, looking like new.
We had Frameworks handle the framing for us. We chose them because of their reputation, and we liked the fact that they are a family-operated business here in Raleigh. Emily and the rest of their staff were awesome, and we’d like to thank them for helping us. The frames are gorgeous, as are the layouts.
So, as we near the end of #mecca85, we’d like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to these two fine companies, and to the customers who help us keep this whole thing going. We may just be a mom-and-pop restaurant, but we want to be the best mom-and-pop restaurant we can be. We think we’ve just completed an important step.