Flashback Friday: Remembering The Mayflower Cafe in Cheyenne
This week, I had dinner at the new Bejo Asian Restaurant on 112 West 17th Street in downtown Cheyenne.
In between bites of walnut shrimp, I couldn't help what wonder what that building must have been like during its heyday as the legendary Mayflower Cafe.
For nearly sixty years, it was the place to be.
Opened in 1928 by three brothers, George, Gus and Sam Andrews, it was considered one of the nicest restaurants in the area. The Mayflower was upscale, but not out of reach, especially after it was expanded to include a tavern in 1947.
Following the addition of nightclub, orginally known as the Marine Room, the Mayflower soon became Cheyenne's "dating destination".
If you had a date that you wanted to impress, you went to the Mayflower.
In 1960, the Marine Room theme was replaced with country and western decor and was renamed the Mayflower Dance Hall.
Touted as the premiere music venue in Wyoming, the biggest stars of the era played there, including Roger Miller, who wrote the hit single "King of the Road" on the old Mayflower stage.
During Cheyenne Frontier Days, the party spilled out into the streets. In those days, the city would block off the streets downtown and allow revellers to take their drinks outside. Thousands of visitors from all over the world would flock to the Mayflower every night and party into the wee hours of the morning.
Sadly, the party eventually came to end.
In the mid-70s, the Andrews brothers sold the business and retired. Then, in January of 1976, the building was destroyed in a fire.
Since then, several owners have tried to revive the Mayflower in various forms. They've all come and gone.
Decades after its demise, an entire generation of people who grew up in Cheyenne still remember the good ole days when the Mayflower was the coolest place in town.