MOUNT VERNON — A little bit of Mount Vernon history is back in action. Candyland, the original name of The Alcove Restaurant, is open for business at 120 S. Main St.
It is the dream child of Dave Bumpus, who owns the reborn store.
“We carry Harry London Chocolates,” Bumpus said. “We carry Velvet Ice Cream packaged products for right now. Things like a Klondike Bar, ice cream sandwiches and Torpedoes. That’s a push-up bar that we called torpedoes when I was a kid.
“I will have a visit from the people at Velvet this week,” he continued. “They are going to help me design an old fashioned, 10-dip soda fountain that will be built here in the center section of the shop.”
Candyland will carry several varieties of old-time soda pop such as Orange Crush, root beer, creme soda and Grape Nehi.
The project is something Bumpus wanted to do for a long time. He and the late Tom Metcalf, former owner of The Alcove, had planned on making the space, which is adjacent to The Alcove, into an expansion of the restaurant.
“Tom and I have known each other since I was a little boy,” Bumpus explained. “We always wanted to blow a hole in the wall at the front entrance to The Alcove and make it a lunch room, party room, extra space.”
The plan turned into a recreation of the old Candyland, which was started in 1911 by Fred Surlas and Peter Francis.
According to Bumpus, a sandwich room, called the Alcove Room, was added several years later by Surlas. The sandwich business was so popular that it supplanted the candy and ice cream offerings. Eventually the sandwich room was expanded to the whole store, and it went from the Alcove Room to being The Alcove Restaurant.
“We have a section called Nostalgiaville,” said Bumpus. “We do kid’s birthday parties there, and we will work in conjunction with Pink Cupcake for those.”
Bumpus is looking for memorabilia from the days of Candyland and also from the 1950s. He is also looking for old black-and-white photographs depicting the development and history of downtown Mount Vernon for Nostalgiaville, and is considering using some of the wall space for art and photography exhibits.
Located at 120 S. Main St., Candyland is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed on Sundays. For more information call 326-6238.