Earl's Restaurant Auction

6:31 PM, Apr 5, 2012   |    comments
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CHAFFEE, NY --Since 1956, Earl's Restaurant on Route 16 had been a Western New York institution.

Its venerable owner, Earl Northrup, closed it a while back....and on Wednesday an auction was held for the contents of the landmark drive in.

There were no shortage of those, who once sought a slice of mouth watering pie, seeking a lasting slice of Americana.

"There are probably about 350 registered bidders," said auctioneer Cash Cunningham, as he took a break from his duties during the four hour event which attracted perhaps another hundred or so curious on lookers, jammed inside the restaurant.

"I've never seen this many people for an auction ever!" exclaimed Joe Gargano of Uncle Joe's Diner, who was among many restaurateurs seeking to bid on equipment.

"In terms of monetary value, it's the equipment that will bring in the highest bids," remarked Cunningham. "But there are an awful lot of people here who are here for memorabilia."

One item of particular interest were the fabled "cowboy legged" tables.. a couple of which fetched top bids of $160.

Debbie Mattle traveled from Darien in Genesee County to bid on one of several posters of the many musical acts that entertained generations at Earls.

"This is the anniversary of my father's passing seven years ago, so and this was one of his favorite places to eat, so we wanted to get a memento in his remembrance of the place," Mattle told WGRZ-TV. 

The only thing missing,.. was Earl himself. A relative told us he is in frail health and infirmed.

Before the bidding began, Cunningham informed the crowd that Northrup would not be present stating, "in some ways, Earl probably wouldn't want to see this (auction) happen anyway," before adding, "although I'm sure he would like to see all of you."

Click on the video player to watch our story from Two On Your Side Reporter Dave McKinley and Photojournalist Dooley O'Rourke. 

Click here to view a photo gallery from the auction at Earl's.

WGRZ-TV, wgrz.com

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