What's up with all the plates?

OPH Plates 1

If you’ve ever been to The Original Pancake House, you probably noticed that our restaurants’ walls are decorated with plates. These aren’t just any plates that you can find on today’s department store shelves. Beautiful, hand-painted and handled with care, our plates are just one of the family traditions that makes us The Original Pancake House.


OPH Plates 2


Owner Sara Hueneke Ernst grew up seeing plates displayed in both of her grandparents’ homes. They were collectors and traders and they could never show off all their plates at once. So as family does, they passed them down to Sara, who now proudly displays them here at both of our Denver restaurants and at home.


OPH Plates 3If you ever see one you just can’t live without, Sara’s been known to trade plates right off the restaurant wall – as long as you bring something equally beautiful to replace it.


The Original Pancake House plate tradition is as old as our original recipes, and serves as a reminder of those special family breakfasts on weekend mornings. Come on in to enjoy one of your own. We’re serving up memories daily!

Throwback Thursday: Back to Our Roots

Let’s take a little walk down memory lane today, and discover how we got started serving breakfast to Denver.

The Pancake House

In the beginning…

 Sara’s great-aunt, Erma Hueneke, and her chef partner, Les Highet, purchased the very first location in Portland, Oregon in 1953. Back then, it was known as The Pancake House.



Erma & Les




There at The Pancake House, Erma and Les introduced their now-famous traditional recipes which remain largely the same to this day.



Ferd & Gen

Then in 1958, Sara’s grandparents, Ferdinand and Genevieve Hueneke, purchased the first official franchise of The Pancake House from Ferd’s sister Erma and her partner Les. They opened up a new location down the road in Salem, Oregon.

That same year, the franchise re-branded as The Original Pancake House, a name which continues today across the country at more than 120 other franchise locations.



Ferd and Gen continued to operate their restaurant until 1970 when their son Tom Hueneke took over. Tom later opened two more locations in Oregon and continued active operations well into the 2000s.

In 1975, Tom brought his 11-year-old daughter in to help out as a coffee girl. That coffee girl worked at The Original Pancake House in many roles for more than 10 years, plus another three years as sous chef in New York before heading out west to open two Denver locations in 1996 and 2000.




Today, we know that coffee girl as Sara Hueneke Ernst – owner, operator and living legacy.


Even as the years have passed, we’ve made sure to stay true to our roots – both in our family tree and in our recipe books. We welcome you and your family to enjoy the same home-cooked dishes we’ve been serving for 60 years, because tradition is delicious. Start yours today.