AN IDEAL HISTORY.
With a pressed tin ceiling and long white marble counter, the original Ideal restaurant appealed to diners who could order a full-course chicken dinner — a blue plate special — for just 35 cents. In the 1940s, workers from Willys-Overland flocked to the restaurant for lunch. In later years, it became a popular hangout as a neighborhood bar and family eatery. In the 1960s, college students adopted The Ideal as a spot to hang out, play cards and listen to folk singers.
Twins Gus and John Mancy took over management of The Ideal from their father in 1964 and put their own stamp on decor and cuisine. They added antiques, a pot-bellied stove, and Tiffany-style lamps to evoke another era. Gaslights and a new sign outside announced “Mancy’s Ideal Restaurant and Oldtyme Saloon.” Patrons began associating Mancy’s with high-quality steak dinners complete with extra-large baked potatoes.
A fire destroyed the restaurant in 1973, but the twins reopened within a year in an adjacent building and shortened the restaurant’s name to simply Mancy’s. The change boosted business and soon Mancy’s enjoyed a national reputation for fine dining in a warm atmosphere. The original name shines again — and the family legacy continues — with reintroducing “Mancy’s Ideal” in 2017.