THE BLUE DANUBE (2439 N. High St.)- Landmark restaurant, 1940-2018.

Blue Danube neon sign

A campus landmark for nearly 80 years, The Blue Danube restaurant opened in April 1940.

In the restaurant's early days, strolling musicians like Freddie Drigo's Hungarian Ensemble or Jack Banby and His Gypsy Ensemble would entertain diners with songs of the Old Country.

Clara Bloomquist on the Hammond organ was a draw for diners in the later 1940s.

Menu originally emphasized Hungarian dishes and a wine selection but expanded to include Greek and American favorites. By the Sixties, pizza and spaghetti were on the menu. Steaks were a favorite in the Sixties.

Became a student hangout in the early 1950s. Large portions and low prices were always the big draw. Late hours made it popular with weekend revelers. Well-stocked and carefully curated juke box was another attraction.

The Dube, as it came to be called, aquired its cool factor in the 1970s-90s when bands and fans from nearby bars began having after-the-show meals there.

Until smoking bans in the 1990s, a cloud of cigarette smoke filled the restaurant every evening.

Decorated ceiling tiles date from the 1990s.






New Year's Eve 2017 at the Blue Danube, 2439 N High. Seems like a world ago.