In February, The Hollywood Star New’s Larry Peters conducted an interview via e-mail with Anna Perry, who, with her husband Bill Perry, owned and operated Perry’s on Fremont for almost 30 years. The restaurant closed in late 2013. Here are a few tidbits from that exchange:
Star: So Perry’s is closed. People are asking why. Any comment?
Anna Perry: Unlike the Rolling Stones, it was time for us to retire! We dreaded the day that we would actually make this happen, knowing how sad we would be. We prolonged the inevitable as long as possible. But, in retrospect, putting in 41 restaurant years on Fremont, plus an extra six years before that makes for a 47-year gig that was pretty amazing, even though enthusiasm was at a premium and vacations and stamina at a low.
Star: Any plans for a Perry’s on Fremont cookbook that might be available to the public?
Anna Perry: We have had lots of requests; and, at some point in the future, that will most probably occur. Right now, we are still in decompression mode. We’re told it’s a process and soon we’ll settle to this new thing called “retirement.”
Star: Any memories stand out about your time in business on Northeast Fremont? How has the area changed?
Anna Perry: In 1984, making the move to 24th Avenue was just one big adventure after another, while still operating on Northeast 43rd Avenue. It did make it harder for Fremont Eddie to pop in and give us the weather report. He is a one of the great memories of that area, and we hope he is never forgotten. (Note from the Star: Eddie Morgan, a mildly mentally challenged man, was shot to death in 1994 at the corner of Northeast 42nd Avenue and Alberta Street. The murder hasn’t been solved.)
Star: What were the favorites your customers clamored for? Any offering that you thought would be a hit, but never took off?
Anna Perry: Well, chicken pie was a clamor magnet. Also, Marionberry pie; and we never saw any leftover Lemon Drops on a table. I had a fabulous (still do) Chicken Liver Paté recipe that tanked, even though the bread was crusty, the mustard tart and the gherkins snappy. It just floundered.
Star: You once marched down Fremont Street with a crowd along for the ride to the Perry’s on Fremont location. Tell me about that.
Anna Perry: As it happened, our move to the new POF building coincided with Halloween ’84 so we thought it would be fun for our customers to walk from Northeast 43rd to our new location on Northeast 24th in Halloween costumes; and they thought so too!! We had a wonderful brunch and live music at the end of the walk. I think Dr. and Mrs. Frank Halvorsen won for their costumes depicting the Rajneesh and Sheila.
Star: A quick note on Hamburger Patties?
Anna Perry: We have heard that the Grilled Cheese Deluxe could have been Mayor and our thick milkshakes were the stuff that brought even prison wardens to their knees.
Star: Any tales you want to tell (in or out of school)?
Anna Perry: Ooooooh! That would take a book! All we can say is our lips are sealed. What happened at Perry’s stays at Perry’s!
Star: Future plans?