Nine decades of tasty eats and memorable moments at Pappy’s Place

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Mike Dailey grew up eating at Pappy’s Place and still visits several times each week. He knows what makes the local landmark so special: “The friends, the beer and the camaraderie.”

A stop by Pappy’s Place is a step back in time: Laden with memorabilia, photos and tidbits harking a bygone era, the walls tell chapters of a story. Since it began back in 1926, the business has seen Springfield grow from its vantage point right on Main Avenue — and through the people who have made the local spot a part of the their life stories.

One of those people is Mike Dailey, who remembers eating cheeseburgers at Pappy’s as a child. “My father used to bring me here,” he says from his bar stool, sipping a beer as he watches TV on the set in the corner.

He grew up local, and after graduating from Parkview High School in 1964, he never went too far from home. Now he lives right up the street, and stops by Pappy’s more often than it seems he’s ready to admit. “Let’s say maybe every other day,” he confesses.

But Pappy’s is a tradition for more than just Mike. “We’ve had four to five generations in here at one time all sitting together,” says Mitzi Rupert, one of the restaurant’s owners, who can be found just a few bar stools down from Mike. “It’s just memories and history. (People say) ‘My dad used to bring me in here, or my grandparents…'”

Mitzi knows what she’s talking about: While she began waiting tables at Pappy’s nearly 20 years ago, her earliest memory of the restaurant dates back to childhood. “I grew up in the neighborhood, right up the street,” she says, and “when we were little, (Mom) would go get (Dad’s) paycheck and we’d get to eat here on Fridays.” (more…)