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Stanforth’s Steak House: Remembering uptown Hillsboro dining in the ’60s

Lead Summary
Steve Roush-
Ladies and gentlemen, let’s hop in the ol’ Studebaker and enjoy some more fine dining in uptown Hillsboro in the 1960s.

Last time, we visited Magee’s Snack Shop, the Howard and Betty Ellis-owned Dairy Queen, the Maroy Restaurant and Dickerson’s Restaurant, among other stops.

This time, let’s stop at Stanforth’s Steak House.

Do you remember Stanforth’s or where it was located? If you don’t, you might remember where the former Slow & Low Barbecue was located, or Prime Cut before that on West Main Street or maybe Jon's Cocktail Lounge & Restaurant.

Yes, that building was the home of Stanforth’s Steak House in the 1960s, and, no, that edifice is no longer there, as it was razed along with a couple other structures after a building collapse a year or two ago.

Now, there was a Stanforth’s Restaurant on North High Street dating back to the 1940s, but in June of 1960, it was reported that Stanforth’s Steak House, located in the former Sanderson’s Saddle Shop Room on West Main Street, was now open for business.

It was advertised that there are “always fine foods to please the most particular taste at Stanforth’s,” elaborating that, “The fussier you are about your food, the better you’ll like it here. You’re sure to appreciate the superior quality of everything we serve and, in particular, the finesse with which it is prepared … Open Sundays.”

Well, I’m sold, how about you?

Let’s take a look at the menu. As far as dinners, since they are a steak house, a large T-bone steak meal is $2.50 or $3.50, a filet mignon steak meal is the same price, a New York strip sirloin steak meal is $2.50, a chopped sirloin steak meal is $1.19, and a chopped sirloin steak meal is $1.25. You can also order ham steak, fried chicken, fried oysters, scallops, shrimp and fish meals from $1.25 to $1.75. A choice of potatoes, salad and drink are included with dinners.

If you’d rather order a sandwich, you can order a hamburger, cheeseburger, bacon and tomato, ham and egg, ham salad, ham, tenderloin, cube steak, grilled cheese or fish sandwich. Those cost between 35 and 70 cents.

For dessert, you can order cake and ice cream for a quarter, pie a la mode for 30 cents and plain for 25 cents.

So what are you ordering? I think I’ll go with the filet mignon meal with fries and a Coke Zero … er, I mean, Coca-Cola.

Many parties and gatherings were held at Stanforth’s, and in the winter of 1961, “a group of friends enjoyed a delicious dinner at Stanforth’s Steak House” and after dinner “they went to the home of Mrs. Bill Stanforth on Vine Street for an interesting session of bridge. The scores were tallied and the winners for the evening were Mrs. Allen Stanforth, Mrs. John Wilkin, Mrs. Norman Stephens and Mrs. John Tolle.”

Congrats to all!

Let’s visit one more party. In December of 1962 on the social events page of the local newspaper, it was reported, “Mr. and Mrs. Richard Davis entertained with a birthday dinner at Stanforth’s Steak House on West Main Street, Wednesday evening. The party was in honor of the birthday anniversary of their daughter, Susan.

“Invited guests included Susan Davis, Patti Hudson, Judy Williams and Bruce Davis. Each little girl received a pretty red and white Christmas corsage.”

Happy belated birthday, Sue! Do you remember what you ordered (and did you notice I omitted which birthday you were celebrating)?

In early 1962, a “new private party room” was added at Stanforth’s, doubling the size of the dining area of the restaurant. Though the new room was for private gatherings, it was noted that “our regular dining area is open at all times. Stop in any time, enjoy our quality foods, beverages, and your favorite TV programs on our new color TV set.”

As we enjoy our evening repast while watching Stanforth’s Steak House’s new color TV set, let’s pause for now, and we’ll continue next time.

Steve Roush is vice chairman of the Highland County Historical Society Board of Trustees, a vice president of an international media company and a columnist and contributing writer for The Highland County Press. He can be reached by email at

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