East Side History Madison’s Blog

By and for the East Side History Club, a project of the Goodman Community Center

The Flash Restaurant: Trachte-Style Dining on Atwood Avenue

Posted by eastsidehistorymadison on March 19, 2010

Tom Miller brought this photo of the Trachte building at 2085 Atwood Avenue to our February 2010 meeting, along with information about its various occupants from 1937 through 2002. His interest in the building stems from its time as the “Flash Restaurant.”

Among his family papers is a legal document titled “Article of Partnership between Homer K.Hanson and Paul D. Boyd.”

It reads:

THIS AGREEMENT made this 1st day of July, 1939, between Homer K. Hanson and Paul D. Boyd, WITNESSETH:

The parties hereto hereby form a general partnershp for the purpose of operating a restaurant, sandwich shop, and hamburger stand at 2085 Atwood Avenue, in the City of Madison, County of Dane, Stae of Wisconsin, under the firm name and style of THE FLASH.

Tom’s research includes the facts that in 1945 the Madison telephone book lists the Flash (phone # Fairchild 1096).

An ad for the restaurant appeared in the May 30, 1945 East High Tower Times newspaper.

Tom writes, “We believe the Trachte building now at 2027 Atwood Avenue (see photo) is the same building used by the Flash.” He included a history of buildings at this address:

  • 1950-1960 Vic’s Cafe
  • 1961 Boelsings Cafe
  • 1962 At Last A Lunchroom
  • 1963-1965 Andy’s Cafe
  • 196-1968 Badger Cafe
  • 1969-1971 Nothing shown at this address
  • 1973-1977 Don and Harold’s Barber Shop
  • 1977-2002 His Barber Shop

Perhaps one of the more interesting facets of a Trachte building is that it can easily be moved. We think this may be the same structure that sheltered Gracie’s Cafe at 2035 Atwood Avenue.

Today, look for this building at 2085 Atwood, next door to Texas Tubbs’s Taco Palace.

Curious about Trachte buildings, Madison’s unique contribution to our architectural heritage? Learn more here:




4 Responses to “The Flash Restaurant: Trachte-Style Dining on Atwood Avenue”

  1. Kathy said

    Hey, that’s the one I asked Ann about! Wonderful to see its history profiled here.

    By the way, I noticed two more Trachtes last week. There’s a small Trachte garage tucked back between homes at the corner of Gilman and Pinckney, and then I saw a larger one at Ingersoll and Elizabeth.

  2. Kathy said

    Ran across another this weekend: 619 E Johnson Street, approximately. Looks like a two-car garage.

  3. […] April 17, 2010 in Uncategorized As a long-time resident of the Schenk-Atwood neighborhood, I’ve watched the mostly positive developments with this wonderful slice of Madison. On my daily walks through the neighborhood I’ve noticed that 2027 Atwood has sat fallow for many years. This buidling has always been in disrepair as brilliantly cataloged by East Side History Club.  […]

  4. Monya Hanson Shenkenberg said

    I loved seeing the photo and article about the Flash Restaurant! My father was Homer K. Hanson, and Paul Boyd was my uncle, Dad’s brother-in-law. I was very young at the time and my memory is fuzzy, but I remember walking in and seeing a counter with stools in front of the grill, which was on the back wall behind that. I remember the smell of hamburgers and onions sizzling on the grill. Apple pie alamode with a slice of cheddar cheese was another of their specialties. I recall that the exterior of this building was painted a pale yellow. I know of no existing photos. Wish there were!

    My Dad and Uncle Paul told stories of The Flash for many years, fond memories for them. They couldn’t have operated the restaurant for too many years as Dad sold insurance for Metropolitan Life after that and in 1948 opened Hanson and Offerdahl Men’s Wear around the corner on Winnebago Street, in partnership with Perry Offerdahl. Uncle Paul opened a furniture store at Union Corners, and eventually moved his business to University Avenue, where it became known as “Town and Country Furniture.” The entrepreneurial spirit lived large for these two resourceful men!

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