Woman Shares Menu From Illinois Bakery Which First Opened in 1897

A woman shared the menu from a bakery in Illinois which first opened in 1897, which her great-grandfather used to run.

Deanna Falchook is currently restoring her 160-year-old family home, in Mendota, as she explores her family's history.

Falchook, who's sharing her journey on Instagram and TikTok, uploaded a video as she toured her great-grandfather's old eatery in town, now long-forgotten.

Alongside snaps of the restaurant in its heyday and old photographs, she also shared the menu as she peeked inside.

In a clip shared to her TikTok account, @meetmeinmendota, on Sunday, she said: "This is an abandoned bakery that's over 130-years-old and it used to belong to my great-grandfather.

"From 1897 to 1941 my great-grandfather owned a restaurant called Mauer & Zapf. I was able to get a little look inside.

"On the menu were things like oysters and seasoned steaks, chops, liver, vegetable and relishes, but their specialty was rye bread. He also made home-made ice cream. My grandmother was a waitress there, and that's where she met my grandfather."

The mom shared snaps of an old menu, which advertised a selection of sandwich fillings, including boiled ham, for 5c or 10c, fried ham for 10c, ham and egg for 15c, egg and cheese for 10c each. While you could also get a hamburger, pork chop, steak, roast pork or roast beef.

And it also had a big selection of cereals, with bowls of corn flakes, oatmeal or shredded wheat on sale for 10c a bowl, while they also had grape nuts and bread and milk.

Slices of orange were on sale for 10c, as well as a sliced banana, peaches and cream and grapefruit, while you could buy cream, milk or ice tea by the glass.

And you could also enjoy a tin of Campbell's soup. The menu also advertised "the very best creamery butter," possibly made in-house.


We were really excited to find my great grandfathers old bakery. It’s 135 years old. #abandonedbuilding #victorianaesthetic #victorianera bakery

♬ original sound - Deanna Falchook

A date on the menu suggests it was from 1929, while other documents also reveal the bakery's festive food.

It says: "For this year shop early. We will have a fine assortment of holiday bakery goods, candies and cigars. We want to aid in bringing all the Christmas cheer possible into every home. Will have homemade fruit cake and homemade taffy."

While another advertises that "We bake good bread and sell it to satisfied customers. Our pies and cakes cannot be excelled even if baked by our mother. The very best ingredients are used in all of our bakery goods. We will have special bakery goods for the Christmas trade. Come to Mendota's community Xmas tree programs. The tree will be located just across the street from this bakery. Your Christmas will be merrier if you secure your supplies here.

"We have been furnishing the public with bread and pies and cakes for the past 40 years."

Falchook then steps inside the abandoned eatery, as she films the intricate ceiling design.

In the background she can be heard saying: "Looks it could have been where the bakery was... Look at the ceiling that could have been in a restaurant."

While the on-screen text says: "Destroyed and abandoned but still signs of my grandpa's bakery ceiling."

The clip, which can be seen here, was captioned: "We were really excited to find my great-grandfather's old bakery. It's 135 years old." It's been watched more than 55,000 times since being shared.

People were amazed by the history of the place, as Colleen Gallagher873 said: "You should make it a bakery again."

Prince Lonnie wrote: "That is so awesome. Thank you so much for sharing. Hopefully you and your family could get a chance to purchase it."

While Olivia shared: "My great grandfather owner an ice cream shop! That is cool that you got to visit."

Falchook explained more about her house project online, revealing her childhood home, built in 1876, was in her family since 1912, but in 2001 they had to sell it.

In an incredible twist of fate, it came back on the market and she was able to buy it back last year.

Newsweek reached out to Falchook for comment.

File photo of an old paper.
File photo of an old paper. A woman shared the menu from a bakery first opened in 1897. SpicyTruffel/Getty Images