My father had left work in Noank, Connecticut the previous evening, driven 600 miles
almost continuously to gather my mother in Sewickley and drive to a grand alley of
poplar trees in Moon Township. Exhausted by the drive but exhilarated by the purpose.
They stopped by the side of the road. He took an engagement ring from his pocket
and slipped it on my mother’s finger:
”The moon had taken refuge behind a cloud, a cloud whose texture resembled the feel
in my own mind. It had grown dark, but I was aware of a dull glare somewhere off
to the north. From our position between the last two trees, I could see a high hill,
rising gracefully and evenly from the road - sweeping up to a flat-topped summit
several hundred feet away. From behind the hill there glowed a deep red light, throbbing
and pulsating, throwing the hill in bold relief, and at the same time, far above
it, playing upon a low formation of heavy cloud, that slowly took the shape of a
castellated mass. I could discern turrets and towers - battlemented towers surmounted
with stout barbicans; parapets and ramparts crenelated with merlons and embrasures,
and pointed with flying banners and protruding belfries. These all stood revealed
in the gory glow that presumably emanated from the open bellies of the blast furnaces
in the Ohio Valley beyond. This cloud mass presented a picture of a noble and vaunted
‘hold’; not unlike the impregnable and vaunted ‘holds’ of the mighty seneschals and
robber barons of old.”
“Then I said, underlining each word, “I am going - to build you - a castle - just
“We sat and dreamed until the light subsided and the clouds dissolved in the darkness;
and yet we did not dream that this spot above which we witnessed this grandiose atmospheric
display would some day be our very own”
The toil, agony and tears, the joy and pride of building Hyeholde are recounted in
my father’s book “The Story of Hyeholde”. Built as a home and a restaurant, Hyeholde
opened for business October 16, 1937. That’s 75 years old this year and counting.
There aren’t many restaurants that can boast that longevity. The toil, frustrations
and joy are never ending in this industry, but, as I write this I’m just so happy
to have been able to carry on and enhance my parent’s beautiful dream and all those
who made those 75 years possible.
Beginning January 1st 2012 my wonderful staff and I invite you to share our “diamond
jubilee” year long celebration. Our halls will be hosting all kinds of events, both
grand and intimate as well as occasional surprises for everyday diners...
Feasts and fetes for all the senses and all ages.
–Barbara K.S. McKenna
Our 75th Anniversary
Thank you to Table Magazine for the wonderful article below that is in their current