The Valley Relics Museum recently received a spectacular donation: two boxes containing a massive collection of vintage menus! Museum volunteers have not yet counted and catalogued all the menus, but a preliminary look shows that they appear to range from the late 1940s to the 1990s, and come from restaurants all around the San Fernando Valley and LA area. The donor, Mr. Alan Gorsky, grew up in the Valley and for years made his living buying, selling and trading menus. Now retired, he heard about the Valley Relics Museum from a TV news story and decided to donate what he called just “a few menus.”
Tommy Gelinas, the founder and curator of Valley Relics, counts two main reasons why it's important to preserve artifacts like these menus. First, they document the prices and sometimes the locations of restaurants that have long since disappeared. They take us back to a time when filet mignon cost $1.25, with mashed potatoes, veggies, and a drink for another 25 cents. They also provide an emotional reaction. People seeing them will remember going out to eat with their families, sitting at the same tables every time, celebrating graduations or bar mitzvahs, or just hanging out after school. They’ll remember which restaurants their parents always went to, or picking out their favorite thing to eat as a kid. Thanks again to Mr. Gorsky for this opportunity to save a piece of our past!