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.