|The Space Bar's architecture was delightful (Photo: Daveland, from the Dick Gardner Collection)|
"The glass-fronted compartments and shiny, nickel-plated fittings created an impression of clean, sparkling conditions and also gave an illusion of effortlessness; all the labor went on behind the scenes," wrote Philip Langdon in Orange Roofs, Golden Arches (1986). Horn and Hardart called their restaurant an "automat." The newspaper called it "a boon to thousands of hungry business men and women."
|WED rendering of the StratoSnak (© Disney. Source: The Story of Disneyland, 1955)|
|Vending machines on either side of a grab stand. (Photo: Daveland)|
UPT opted for a basic "grab stand," a term from the carnival and traditional park industry. A grab stand is a 10-foot by 10-foot kitchen with a serving window. Hamburgers are grilled, potatoes fried, and syrup mixed with carbonated water in the kitchen. Soda canisters and kitchen trash are outside in the back or in an enclosed yard. Customers pay, grab their food, and find a seat at a table nearby. No waitresses, no silverware or dishes. A cook, a cashier, a utility man, and someone to handle trash in the table area—grab stands are very profitable to operate.
The grab stands on opposite sides of Fantasyland never had names, just Fan I and Fan II. In Frontierland, the Chicken Plantation Restaurant was a grab stand with more windows. In Tomorrowland, the stands were by the Rocket to the Moon and the Tomorrowland Boats, so they were called the Space Bar and the Yacht Club. (The Yacht Club was physically moved in 1957 and renamed the Yacht Bar, for the same reason Vicks changed DayCare to DayQuil.)
|Cheap shade. (Photo: Daveland)|
As bleak as it sounds, the architecture of the Space Bar was delightful. A tower made from a simple pipe frame held all kinds of colorful spinners and the facade was enlivened by a zig-zag made from taut canvas. The animated tower predated Rolly Crump's Tower of the Four Winds at the New York World's Fair (1964) and the dashes of shape and color were not unlike Jon Jerde's designs for the Los Angeles Olympics (1984). Not bad for such an inexpensive—yet profitable—building.
|A basic "grab stand," but with kinetic, colorful architecture. (Photo: Daveland)|
|Everything on the tower moved with the breeze.|