Tag Archives: Elvis Fashion

A Look at One of Young Elvis’ Favorite Haunts

Good Home Style Eating at the Arcade Restaurant

There are many ways in which ElvisBlog topics are generated. As you know, some are deeper looks at subjects that appear on Graceland.com/news. Also, regular readers sometimes send me a link to stuff on the internet that lends itself to a blog article.

 

Elvis Style Book Cover

And sometimes I am sent a comp copy of a new Elvis book about to be released. ElvisBlog does not make a practice of giving free publicity for things. However, if a book contains something unique that I can build a blog article around, I’ll go with it.

From the subtitle of the book Elvis Style, you would think it is all about Elvis fashion. Indeed, the 90+ pages on his clothing are incredibly complete – well written and full of great photos. But it was in Chapter 3 – Elvis Food – that I found something unknown to me a possibly to you as well.

 

Arcade Restaurant

No discussion of Elvis’ food preferences is complete without a page or two on his favorite, the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. Author Zoey Goto wrote in Elvis Style:

“The Arcade Restaurant in Memphis continues to be the Elvis sandwich temple, as fans from across the globe flock to sample their fried peanut butter and banana sandwich in the original booth where Elvis once sat.”

Elvis' Booth at Arcade Restaurant

Elvis’ Booth at Arcade Restaurant

The Arrow Marks Elvis' Favorite Booth at Arcade Restaurant

The Arrow Marks Elvis’ Favorite Booth

“Elvis was a regular visitor in the 50s, often accompanied by the Memphis disc jockey Dewey Phillips. The duo would sit at a booth at the back of the restaurant, conveniently located next to the back door in case Elvis had to make a dash from his enthusiastic fans.”

Elvis’ favorite booth next to back door at Arcade Restaurant

Elvis’ favorite booth next to back door

Henry Zepatos, the third generation owner of the Arcade, says that although the peanut butter and banana sandwich is one of the most popular items on the menu, when Elvis visited he would actually come in for traditional Southern cooking – meat and vegetables. He also liked black-eyed peas and mashed potatoes.

Arcade Restaurant Current Sandwich Menue

Portion of Current Arcade Restaurant Menu Showing Sandwiches

View from Elvis’ favorite booth at Arcade Restaurant

View from Elvis’ favorite booth.

The Arcade has the honor of being Memphis’ oldest restaurant, having opened in 1919. It has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Arcade Restaurant on National Register of Historic Places

 

Since 1925, the Arcade has undergone very little change. In fact, the counter was replaced only after repeated elbow rubbing wore through the plastic laminate.

Worn Counter top at Arcade Restaurant

Speros Zepatos founded the diner in 1919 after emigrating from Cephalonia, Greece. Situated at the corner of South Main Street and G.E. Patterson, the original building was a small, one story, wood framed building. Food was actually cooked on potbelly stoves. In 1925, Speros tore down the wood structure and built the Arcade Building in a Greek revival style, complete with retail stores to signify the “Arcade” name.

His son, Harry Zepatos, took the Arcade to a new level in the 1950’s. He made the cafe into the hip, fifties diner you see today. The interior design and furnishings, the spectacular neon signage, and original storefront have all stood the test of time.

Arcade Restaurant Neon Sign

As you look around this old part of Memphis, it still has the same look and feel that it did many years ago. The neighborhood buildings have been refurbished, yet the old-time charm still exists.

 

Walk the Line and Great Balls of Fire

It is interesting that movies about two of Elvis’ contemporaries at Sun Records, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis, have included scenes shot at the Arcade Restaurant. The diner’s nostalgic feeling has attracted many other movie makers. Some of the films with scenes shot at the Arcade include Mystery Train, The Client, The Firm, 21 Grams, and others.

 

Arcade Restaurant Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich

This is a photo of the peanut butter and banana sandwich served by the Arcade Restaurant. There is a video on their website that shows how they make it. Next time you visit Graceland, you might want to take a side trip to order this specialty at the Arcade.

 

Elvis Presley's '68 Comeback Special Black Leather Outfit

And if you want to take a detailed look at Elvis’ wardrobe, check out Elvis Style by Zoey Goto. As said above, it also contains a section on Elvis food, plus his jewelry, his hair, his cars, and even the architecture of three Elvis homes.

The book ends with a chapter on Elvis’ legacy in modern-day fashion. Zoey has said she’s really up for me reproducing the chapter (with lots of photos) on a future ElvisBlog post. She is a famous fashion and design journalist, so she has unique insight into Elvis’ tangible and direct influence on fashion almost 40 years after his passing. You can be sure I’ll be taking her up on this opportunity.

 

 

© 2016 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

 

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Elvis in Short Sleeves

EP Monogrammed Elvis Short Sleeve

There are lots of photos out there showing Elvis as a fashion icon.

Cool Elvis Out the Sun Roof

In fact, in March 2010, Graceland introduced a new exhibit called Elvis Presley: Fashion King. According to the press release at the time, it explores the fashion trends ushered in by the King of Rock & Roll.

Elvis Presley Fashion King Logo

 

The best fashion photos of Elvis came from his later years when he wore some stunning clothes. Even his casual wear during that period was notable.

Graceland Fashion King Exhibit

 

But in the fifties and early sixties, when Elvis dressed casually, he wore a number of short sleeve shirts with no particular fashion statement.

Elvis in Very Plain Short Sleeve

Not only did he wear short sleeve shirts, he rolled up the sleeves.

Elvis on Phone in Short Sleeves

 

Sullen Elvis in Short Sleeve

The top few buttons were almost always open.

Elvis with Short Sleeves Rolled up, Buttons Open, Collar Up

 

Elvis Signing Autographs Wearing Short Sleeve

There are a lot of photos of Elvis wearing this shirt.

Elvis WearingCustom Made Pink Gabardine Short Sleeve Shirt

When Elvis first started getting into stylish clothes, he went to Lansky Bros. in Memphis. This custom made Lansky shirt from 1956 sold for $2,925 at a 2013 Gotta Have It auction.

 

Elvis during Rehersal for Ed Sullivan Show

Elvis wore this shirt while rehearsing for the Ed Sullivan Show in 1956. It shows another common Elvis preference – the collar turned up.

 

Elvis Wearing Short Sleeve in Girls, Girls, Girls

Elvis had all of his favorite early shirt features going in this shot from Girls, Girls, Girls – rolled-up short sleeves, open buttons, and turned up collar.

Elvis in Plain Black Short Sleeve

But, he doesn’t have them here. Looks pretty plain for Elvis, doesn’t it?

 

60s Elvis in Short Sleeve 1

This is older Elvis in unusually conservative clothing. Still rolling up those sleeves, though.

 

Elvis in Short Sleeve Like a Regular Tourist

Elvis looks like he could be just another tourist in Hawaii in this shot.

Elvis Wearing Faux Suspenders Short Sleeve

This looks like faux suspenders to me.

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Elvis did make attempts to get some fashion elements into his short sleeve shirts with so-so results

Elvis in Jazzed Up Short Sleeve

Young Elvis in Decorative Short Sleeve

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However, there is one shirt that doesn’t look very sharp by itself, but it shines when a sport coat is added to the ensemble.

Short Sleeve Shirt Worn by Elvis while Singing Hound Dod on Milton Berle Show

 

Elvis Doing Hound Dog on Milton Berle Show

This is Elvis performing “Hound Dog” on the June 5, 1956 Milton Berle Show. If you don’t know all about how Elvis’ gyrations that night ignited a firestorm of protest, you need to brush up on your Elvis history

. Black rayon shirt with pink yoke worn by Elvis Presley on The Milton Berle Show on June 5, 1956

I don’t know if the other parts of Elvis’ outfit from that landmark performance still exist, but the shirt sold for $51,000 at the Julien’s Music Icons Auction in June 2010. Not bad for an ugly short sleeve shirt.

 

 

© 2016 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.