Antique Neon Worth Noting

Next time you visit the Zingerman’s Roadhouse, be sure to take a moment to appreciate the big neon sign above our front door.

The sign was crafted for us by award-winning neon maker, Mark Chalou, of Ann Arbor’s Mr. Neon Lighting, using hard-to-find antique, hand-drawn glass tubes that Mark found in an old glass shop on the East Side. The glass was produced in Detroit in 1953 by the Eureka Neon Company. As with artisan foods, the old methods make for slightly more variability in the neon – it’s a touch thinner in some spots and a bit thicker in others. This variation gives the neon a unique illumination quality not found in modern, machine-made glass.

Of particular interest is the ruby red – the “Zingerman’s” part of the sign – actually has real gold flecks in it to add luster to the light it gives. The “Roadhouse” is in the hard to find, old-style, cobalt blue. The “Really Good American Food” is also in cobalt blue but with red neon gas run through it creating the magenta light that it shows.

Check it out! You really can see the difference!