Southside Landmark MemoriesDixie Barbeque - August, 1998

Where Fifties Families went for sandwiches
by Bill Cook

omething that Elmirans shared when we went away to college or military service was the difficulty in explaining to new acquaintances all the strange names that we gave to places in and around Chemung County. How many of us have how many stories about the times we mentioned Horseheads or Big Flats in a conversation and were met with rounds of guffaws and snorts of hilarity.

One name that I could never get comfortable with myself was Bulkhead. Who ever came up with that? It sounds too much like Bullhead to suit me. And bullheads are just plain ugly. Couldn't it have been Five Corners? Or how about South Fork or Broadway Crossing?

Bulkhead was where The Dixie was and in spite of the unappetizing sound (at least to me) of the name we gave that intersection, the Dixie Barbeque was one of my favorite places to eat. It wasn't just a hangout for kids, and it wasn't just a drive-in. It was just a really good place to get a sandwich and I was even known to go there with my parents for a meal, which, contrary to what folks today might see on Leave It To Beaver reruns, was something that even Fifties kids avoided, if possible.

Located about 100 yards from the restaurant was Dixie Bowling - and you really couldn't mention one without the other. If someone told you they'd meet you at The Dixie, you'd ask Barbeque? and they'd say No! The bowling alley! or vice-versa. It was like bacon and eggs or cream and sugar.

Since The Dixies have been in business for so long (my mom remembers trips to the restaurant when she was in her twenties) it would seem to me that it's obvious a new name should be given to that important intersection of Broadway and Pennsylvania Avenue. The name Bulkhead certainly must have long ago outlived its charm. I vote for calling it Dixie Corners or Dixie Point. Now those are names not to be laughed at by friends OR strangers.

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