Pete’s Grill

 Peter J. Macchia of New Castle, Pa., opened Pete’s Grill in the early 1950s after noting the success Eddie Sezon and other hot dog vendors were enjoying on The Strip. Food service at the resort was shifting from the inns and hotels to fast food that could be “taken out” to the beach or served in a matter of minutes. Further, the less-formal food stands and grills were more accommodating to the beachwear guests wore, eliminating the need to “dress up” before going out to eat.

Pete’s Grill was adjacent to Eddie’s, and there was rivalry between the grill owners. There was nothing low key about Pete Macchia, who worked winters as a waiter in a posh Hollywood, Calif., restaurant that catered to stars.

Pete learned the value of public relations and sponsored young women in the beauty contests held at the Geneva Theater.

He got extra mileage from his sponsorship by having the girls stop at his stand for some publicity photo opportunities.

In the early 1960s, Pete saw greater potential in a live-music venue, opened The Cove and sold Pete’s Grill.

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Our guests remember:

Pirl Beach

I spent the summer of 1942 in Pirl Beach (at age 16) and worked part time for the manager pulling weeds and such. Also swam every day. My Pittsburgh relatives had reserved a cottage there for many years. My aunt and cousins stayed. My uncle commuted weekly in his Buick. The Pirl Beach manager used a Model T Ford truck for his chores.

Ken Ford

Memories of Ford's

Most of my summer childhood memories are at Ford’s! My parents met there right at the picnic table. We vacationed there every summer along with my grandparents and great aunt and uncle until they passed away. We made amazing friends there that we still vacation with on Putnam Drive!! I could never thank the Payne’s enough for my childhood memories. Playing Indians in the huge back yard, solving make-believe mysteries, playing release and listening to everyone playing penny poker when my sister and I should have been sleeping. I now bring my son to Geneva every summer. He is the 5th generation at Geneva!

Sara Turner Campos

Chestnut Grove

My extended family and I vacationed at Chestnut Grove from 1948-1964. Being from McKeesport, it was a dream come true to go there every summer. I currently live in Michigan but go back occasionally. Not too long ago, I found a post card of some of the cottages where the swings and horseshoe pit were and a local artist is making me a 24×36 painting of it. I can't wait to see it! So many wonderful memories and so few things left as reminders. It is nice to know that others still remember and care.

Michelle Turner ( a Chestnut Grove Kid)


We vacationed every summer at Idle-A-While in the late '50s and early '60s, partially because my aunt was the receptionist there. I often got to ring the bell summoning guests to breakfast, lunch and dinner in the dining room, which was staffed by co-eds from various universities. Evenings were spent playing bingo, fascination and other games on the strip or bridge and poker back at Idle-A-While. Great memories.
John Bloom

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