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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Remembering the Smiling Blue Whale Neon Sign at Yoken's Restaurant


Article by Eric H.
Sometimes, we affectionately remember restaurants that weren't all that great. Not that Yoken's "Thar She Blows" restaurant in Danvers, MA, was bad, but if it were in business today, we'd regard it as a New England tourist trap with too much fried food and dining rooms that looked like any other restaurant dining room. It was basically Howard Johnson's with a sea captain's hat.

Yoken's was hugely popular at its Danvers and Portsmouth, NH, locations for its affordable and decent seafood dishes, friendly service and family-friendly environment. Perhaps it was most popular, however, for its attention-getting smiling blue whale neon sign. Yokens' perfectly tapped into a pathetic, universally acknowledged human weakness: who doesn't love a smiling, blue whale?

Perhaps Yoken's greatest appeal was its innocence. You just don't see signs like the smiling blue whale in our society anymore. Today, we see signs with fancy fonts, gold flourishes and generally a cold and clinical look. Maybe it's just a "sign" of the times, where the middle class is slowly eroding and the world is becoming more serious. Perhaps if the current bailout plans truly works, we'll see more happy restaurants signs, thus reflecting more happy times. We look forward to this happier world someday by driving by happy restaurant signs like Yoken's. We just won't necessarily eat there.
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