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Bartke's restaurant scrapbook

Identifier: MS-2013-02
  • No requestable containers

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

The collection is comprised of an over-size scrapbook which details the opening of Bartke's Restaurant at Tampa International Airport on August 17, 1952 as well as numerous newspaper clippings and photographs of Tampa International Airport during the 1950s. Included are restaurant reviews, editorials and special feature articles about groups who booked dinners at Bartke's Restaurant.


  • Created: 1952-1956


Conditions Governing Access

None. The contents of the collection may be subject to copyright. Visit the United States Copyright Office's website at for further information.

Biographical or Historical Information

Frank and Alva Bartke owned a restaurant in New York State in the early 1950s, and decided to open a sister restaurant in Tampa, Florida. They were able to open Bartke’s Restaurant in the terminal for the opening of Tampa International Airport, which sprang from the site of decommissioned Drew Army Airfield. After a fire at their New York restaurant, Bartke’s in Tampa was their sole business venture. At the time, private air travel was rising in popularity, and the restaurant cashed in on the glamor of the industry. Portraying itself as an “Ultra-Modern Steakhouse,” Bartke’s boasted all manner of modern contrivances, from the Hammond organ to the “Gretchen Broil-o-Matic” broiler. The scrapbook traces the first few years of the restaurant, with many newspaper ads posing as authentic articles. It also documents the groups who booked dinners there and special events. The scrapbook also documents trials of Alva’s mother, who struggled to escape communist Europe and become a U.S. citizen. Bartke’s effectively captured the post-war zeitgeist: optimism, consumption, a faith in science and modern inventions, and aggressive boosting of Florida as a place to live and work. The couple later divorced, with Alva opening restaurants in Pinellas County. Frank opened other businesses as well (most notably Bartke’s Dinner Theater), and stayed on at the airport location until TIA opened a new terminal and replaced the private businesses there with corporate ones.


2.07 Linear Feet

1 boxes

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged by material type: 1. Scrapbooks

Source of Acquisition

Bartke's Restaurant

Method of Acquisition


Related Materials

Bartke, June and Andrew T. Huse.  June Bartke and Barbara Bartke Oral History Interview.  Tampa, Fla, University of South Florida Library, 2008.

Bartke’s restaurant scrapbook
Kevin Arms, 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the USF Libraries - Special Collections Repository

4202 East Fowler Ave.
Tampa FL 33620-5400 US