Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - November 10, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
4/V The Cedar Rapids Gazette: San., Nov. IO, 1074
Kozy Inn Provided Both Work, Fun tor Stickneys
By Sandy Van Ambari*
“We haven't had five arguments," Chuck Stickney said, speaking of the long hours he and his wife, Myrt, have put in together at the Kozy Inn sinc e March of 1940 They’re no strangers to hard work, having once known 10-hour days, six-day weeks and bookkeeping at the Kozy come Sunday.
The Stickneys owned the oldest family restaurant in Cedar Rapids until last Monday (Nov. 4) when Dave and I .arn Naso took possession
The question of selling had been on the Stickneys’ minds for months. "We’ve seen too many of our customers pass away," (’huck said. "Myrt and I want to enjoy ourselves while we are still in good health.
It's hard for them to leave the restaurant business. "We’ve had our fun and entertainment here.” he said
Started In 1929
Chuck has been working in the family business since it was started back rn 1929 by his parents, Cyril and Maude Stickney. They started with an open air fruit stand in front of their house at IOU First avenue SE. That house occupied part of the space where the Allen Motor Co. is today,
Cyril was a painter-contrac-tor and his wife rented out a few of the rooms in their big house. It was Cyril’s idea to start the fruit stand.
The next move was to a portable six-sided wooden building ordered from Chicago. It was put together with bolts From here the Stickneys sold root beer, orange soda and ice cream as well as fruit.
"The boys at the Skelly sta thin next to us asked Mother to put in some soups and sand wiches, and she did," ( huck said. “As customers asked, she added dinners."
"In those days,” he recalled. "you used to get soup bones for nothing and my mother would go from there.”
Chuck was about 12 when he started working nine hours a day during the summer, seven days a week He sold melons, washed dishes, handled curb sen ice and eventually helped in the fry cooking That original building was addc'd to three times Chuck laughed heartily as he recalled a long ago incident which then “embarrassed the dickens out of me.” He was about 14. waiting tables, when he "spilled a hot bowl of chili on a woman. ”
In the fall of 1935 the Stickneys startl'd a second Kozy Inn across the street from the first. They called them Kozy Inn I and Kozy Inn 2. (Kozy 2 is the present restaurant.)
"The owner of the building had asked Mother and Dad to come over here,’’ Chuc k said. "It was just a one-room restaurant. previously called Coed cafe. My half-brother. Paul, worked here at Kozy 2 while Mother and Dad continued to run Kozy I "Then in 193B. Kozy 2 expanded into two rooms, taking over space once occupied bv a drugstore. We put in an archway and put a bar in the middle of the second room.
"During World war II my brothers Harold, Paul and I were in the service so Mother closed down Kozy I and took what help she had there and came over and operated this place until 1944 The ceiling price was higher over here and we had beer. She and Dad operated alone in ’44. Harold got out of the service in the latter part of 45 and I got out Feb. IR. 194H.
‘‘My wife and I started working at Kozy 2 the first of March When Paul got out of the service, he bought a tavern in Oakville, la. In 1947 the family bought the F avenue
Menu from the 1930s
COMPLETE FRIED CHICKEN DINNER--------50$
(SOUP, POTATOES AND GRAVY OR POTATO SALAD, VEGETABLE OR SALAD DESSERT AND DRINK)
SPECIAL KOZY INN T . BONE STEAK-------50$
SHORT CUT STEAK---------------- 40$
PORK TENDERLOIN PLATE----------------40$
(INCLUDING, AMER. FRIES, SALAD AND DRINK)
HAM AND EGGS WITH AMER. FRIED
BACON AND EGGS-----------------------30$
CHEESE OR HAM OMELET-----------------30$
BACON AND TOMATO-^--
HAM AND EGG--------
BAKED HAM & CHEESE ROAST LOIN OF PORK
25$ BAKED HAM-----15$
25$ BACON AND EGG-15$ 20$ GRILLED CHEESE15$
20$ HAM SALAD-----15$
■20$ CHICKEN SALAD-15$
■20$ TUNA FISH-----15$
■15$ CHEESE & JELLY 15$
>20$ BACON SAND. 15$
■20$ EGG SALAD 10$
ALA CARTE ORDERS
HASH BROWN POTATOES------------------15$
AMERICAN FRIED POTATOES--------------10$
LETTUCE AND TOMATO SALAD-------------15$
HEAD LETTUCE SALAD-------------------10$
CHILLED TOMATO OR ORANGE JUICE-------10$
COFFEE, TEA OR MILK------------------05$
tavern on the west side and I think the latter part of ’47 we sold that tavern and bought the Scoreboard in Marion which my brother Harold and his wife are still running.
"In 1950 Kozy 2 expanded again. Peoples grocery store went out of business so we took over that corner room and put in several shufflehoards. He had team play, singles and doubles, men and women. We used t* just pack em In bereft was terrific. Then gradually we started serving food over there. As noon hour trade go! bigger, and as shuffleboard died out. we added booths.
"In I960 we made arrangements to buy the building from Karl Mike By then business had picked up so much that we circled our bar into the third room and kept remodeling for the next ten years inside and out. The last remodeling was when we put the new front on the building about three years ago.”
Those familiar with the Kozy Inn advertisements will know that the restaurant has been family operated for three generations — Cyril arid Maude, Chuck and Myrt and their son Bill and daughter-in-law Kathy. Rill left the business but Kathy is still there.
A proud moment for Chuck and Myrt came this past summer when grandchildren. Steve, 15, and Stacy. 14, received work permits "and came in as our bus boy, bus girl and cashier They’re good workers," Chuck said, beaming.
Kathy. Steve and Stacy will continue to work at the kozy Inn.
The new owners. Dave and Larry Naso of Tony's Pizza, ( adar Rapids, "are two nice brothers, ’’ (huck said "They’re hard workers—that’s what it takes.'
Larry has been familiar with the Kozy Inn for a long time. He met Bill Stickney at McKinley high and used to help clean up at the Kozy. Larry even met his wife. Mary, here back in 19H7 when both were at the restaurant with friends.
He teased Mary, saying that he bought the Kozy for that reason.
From I 930s
Chuck showed Dave and Larry a copy of a Kozy Inn menu from the ’3(is. Fddie Sterns, a retired Cedar Rapids policeman, had come across the old menu when cleaning house and brought it to Chuck
"The same nne-pound T-bone we served then for 5(1 cents, we serve today for SB 25,” Chuck said
"Waitresses worked nine hours a day. six days a week for $5. If they got 25 cents in tips a day. that was wonderful.”
He gave another example of wages in the 30* "Kmplnyes at the Skelly station beside Kozy I had to be college grads, and they made SWI a week. When it was later raised to $75. that was a lot of money.
( huck said (he profit on that 50 cent I bone was still better then in proportion to costs now — taxes, insurance, food and supplies
"Why a case of these, he said, [minting to the napkins on the tattle*, "cost $2(1 today and
NEW YORK (UPI) - Offering college courses in unusual places helps Adelphi university to run in the black
As with many small private colleges, the Garden City, N. Y., school was not getting enough money in through normal channels to pay the bills a few years hack
Inflation and a reduced number of students put the fiscal squeeze on two ways Innovation helped the school out of the red ink well
Simply, the school packaged college courses and offered them off campus — all at the going rate, $89 a credit.
Train I raining
The first of the operations to get the school hack on the financial track involved classrooms on railroad tracks — commuter t ars leased from the railroad and modified to be a classroom on wheels.
The students would be riding the train. anyway, getting from points in Connecticut, Long Island and Brewster, N. Y., to New York (Tty jobs each day — and making the return trip in the evening
By registering, paying the fee of $89 a credit, a student willing to take business courses morning and evening could take a full load — leading to the master s degree in business administration Fifty have earned the degree at the train school.
A second innovative program aims at another group of students — mother* and retirees These take place m six libraries on Ling Island. Two hundred students have signed up.
This special degree program for adults includes psychology and sociology and other subjects. The Kdii-Tram courses are strictly business administration
A third innovative program will accomplish the unusual on the academic scene. That is, it will find students studying during their winter vacation
This magic is accomplished by creating a classroom setting in ski resorts in Falkville and Kllensville. N. Y. Twenty-one undergraduate courses are on the roster.
we got them for a dollar then You could get three to four pounds of good ground beef for a quarter the?); now it s 75 cents a pound.”
The Kozy Inn was THE Coe hangout beginning about I94B •lust a few weeks ago, during Coe college Homecoming weekend, a former student came into tho Kozy. found Chuck and thanked him for a job he had given him long ago “After the war. a lot of boys were at Coe on the (ii bill They needed jobs to pay for board Every so often the coach would call mi' and ask if I could find jobs for six fellows,
The Coe Hangout
Two head waitresses. Eloise Schultz and Marge Puckhaber, worked with the Stickneys 20 years. Their maintenance man. Tony Kemp. has been with them about 18 years, and
W ' •*
Since the oge of I 2 Chuck Stickney has been serving customers in the family-owned business. One of his proudest moments came this past summer when grandchildren Steve and Stacy Stickney received work permits and joined him as the fourth generation at the restaurant.
"Charlie Shedd, who is on the radio with Parent Talk’. was a good customer and friend And quite a football player for Coe “An ex-mayor of Cedar Rapids used to bus tables and wash dishes for Mother across the street. He worked for his meals at Kozy Inn while at Coe.” That was Frank Bosh.
Chui k and Myrt have always strived to make the Kozy Inn a family place.
“A lot of our beer customers today came in here a* babies with their parents." Chink said. smiling.
The Stickneys always considered good family food their trademark "We continued to serve almost the same menu Mother did during the 1930s and 40s Creamed chicken, hamburger, spaghetti, liver and onions, corned beef and cabbage, pork hoiks and beans.”
In 19B7 they built their lakeside home near North Liberty. At that time they were only able to spend a couple of nights a week there, because of long working hours. However, in recent year* they’ve spent more time there and only two nights a week in their Cedar Rapids apartment.
Retirement will allow them lo spend all their hours at the home they love. "We have beautiful friends and neigh hors there.” Chuck said He has always enjoyed fishing and boating and looks forward to spending much more time at both. Gardening is something he and Myrt have just gotten into recently, and they want to do a lot more of it "This year we set out 209 I cabbage plants, 300 tomato plants, string beans, radishes, lettuce, potatoes, broccoli and Brussel^ sprouts,” ( huck said "We served about 1,500 pounds of our tomatoes at the Kozy this summer ”
A big bouquet of red roses arrived for ( huck and Myrt just then, along with good wishes for their retirement Touched, Chuck admitted that leaving all the friends they’ve made here is hard. They’ll also miss their family" — the loyal, hardworking employes "One of our cooks, Lila Miller, started working for us in August. 1946.”
The first Kozy Inn was located across the street from the present one on land now occupied by the Allen Motor Co. A Skelly station was on the corner. It was the Skelly employes who urged Mrs. Stickney to add soups and sandwiches and finally dinners to the menu.
I Jk & Mi A #
me v. ivr\
Chuck Stickney, right, was 15 or 16 when this picture was taken at the family's fruit stand in front of their home on First avenue SE. At left is Chuck s dad, Cyril. The young man in the eerier was a friend of Chuck’s, Mer Miller.
the majority of their other employes have been with them three to ten years.
Chuck says they’ve served customers who made SIO a week and also millionaires "Myrt and I used to know every customer by first and last name. I learned to do that when on the road (he had a job selling for Sawyer Biscuit Co. from 1937 to 1941) When someone would call into the grocery store for crackers, Hie clerk would pick mine up,” Chuck said, with a wink
Larry and Dave Naso plan to retain both the name of the restaurant and the same menu
After years of working long hours and every weekend alongside her husband. Myrt’s first reaction as to what she ll enjoy most about retirement ’ Saturday nights ”
“Fiddler on Roof at Washington
Washington high school will present “Fiddler on the Roof” at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturdav and Nov 15 and IB in the school auditorium.
Adult and senior high tickets are $2, and junior high tickets are ll 50 Tickets are available at the Washington box office. or bv telephoning 398 2429
The musical is set in the village of Anatevka, somewhere between Kiev and Moscow in Tsarist Russia The story centers around l ev ye, the village dairyman, and the
marriage plans of his three oldest daughters.
Their marriage plans place them in conflict with tradition. bv which the village lives, with the matchmaker who arranges marriages, and with their parents
Another conflict in the musical is an historical one. the persecution of the lews rn Russia
In the role of Tov ye is Lyle Chalupsky. while his wife Guide is played bv Sue Weems. Their live daughters were Tzeitel, lo Bristow; Hodel.
Meg Thornton. Chav a, Jayne Thompson; Shprintze. Mary Struthers, and Btelka, soma Hanuman.
The three oldest girls loves are Motel. Bruce Springsteen. Perchik. Dennis Ogden. Fyedka, .left Strang. The matchmaker is played by Barb Hutchings; the raom bv John Nollsch. and Lazar Wolf, a friend of Tevye's, by Tim I laugher tv Susan Sargeant McDonald is the dramatic director aided by ( ary Franklin, student director
Courses on Location Keep New York College Solvent
Remember all the reasons you said
was to be your
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LOCAL & LONG DISTANCE MOVERS
CEDAR RAPIDS IOWA CITY
SAFELY MOVING & STORAGE AGENTS FOR KERINS VAN LINES "World’* Largest Moving A Storage Co.”BEKINSThe Professionals
CHANGING OF THE GUARD
f ongratulations, Dave & Larrv Naso, un your purchase of the oldest family-owned restaurant and lounge in Cedar Rapids. May its years of tradition serve you well in the futureKOZY INN
Thanks, Chuck and Myrt Stickney, for the many years you have devoted to serving the people of Cedar Rapids. You can he proud of the many fine traditions represented in establishing a truly fine landmark in our city.
And ne congratulate .Jack Kuncl of our Commerlnal Sales Department, for his part in this transaction.John Zachar, Jr. and Company, Realtors
3700 First Avenue NE