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University of Missouri

Ghosts of CoMo’s Past

College hangouts come and go through the years.

Over the decades, friendships have been forged, couples have fallen in love, and tuition has been earned at Columbia’s innumerable student hangouts, some of which are now extinct. Here are a few that didn’t stand the test of time.

Central Dairy Columbia Missouri

Mizzou students enjoyed Central Dairy ice cream and milkshakes in the 1940s and ’50s. Photo courtesy of the Boone County Historical Society.

Central Dairy

1104–1106 E. Broadway  •  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Central Dairy building was constructed in two phases starting in 1927 and finishing in 1940. Through the 1950s, the ice-cream parlor was a popular date destination — and a place where Mizzou’s male students went to meet Stephens College students. Now it is home to Downtown Appliance.

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The Shack University of Missouri

The Shack was the undisputed favorite campus watering hole until it burned in 1988. Photo courtesy of Billy Franke and University Archives.

The Shack

704 Conley Ave.  •  Beetle Bailey comic strip creator Mort Walker, BA ’48, once joked that The Shack would never burn because its wood was too beer-soaked. Alas, one of the most famous college hangouts in Mizzou history met its fiery demise on Halloween night in 1988. An expanded motif, complete with campus artifacts on display and The Shack’s trademark initial-carved booths, has been recreated at the MU Student Center.

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The Stable Columbia Missouri

The Stable, a favorite music venue in the 50s, had hinged walls that would open on warm evenings. Photo from the Oct. 1949 Missouri Showme.

The Stable

Intersection of Champions Drive and Providence Road  •  For Mizzou students in the 1950s, live music meant jazz. Local saxophone talent Al Rose appeared frequently at The Stable, which had a unique feature — fold-down sides that opened up the space for its big performances when the weather was nice.

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The Stein Club Columbia Missouri

The tiny Stein Club opened in 1948 just north of Tiger Hotel. Photo courtesy of the Boone County Historical Society.

The Stein Club

Eighth Street just north of Tiger Hotel  •  Opened in 1948 and one of the only places in town to serve 5 percent alcohol-by-volume beer, the Stein Club wasn’t for claustrophobes. Patrons cozied up in the approximately 20-foot-by-40-foot space where owner Edward “Country” Atkins had a local monopoly on Michelob. The Atkins family sold the business in 1975, and the bar closed shortly thereafter.

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Gaebler's Black and Gold

Paul Christman, BS Ed ’70, and Inez Potter, Journ ’41, study at Gaebler’s Black and Gold. Publications and Alumni Communication file photo.

Gaebler’s Black and Gold Inn

706 Conley Ave.  •  Fred Gaebler, A&S ’42, and wife Olinda opened the Black and Gold Inn in 1931, two years after they had established the adjacent Dining Car restaurant. The former was an energetic “jelly joint,” a place where students could go to dance and hear live jazz played by greats such as Trenton, Mo., native Yank Lawson. The dance floor, or “poop deck,” was upstairs to circumvent a city law forbidding dancing on a restaurant’s main floor. The Black and Gold was sold in the ’50s, becoming the Italian Village and later the Huddle.