Submitted by Elizabeth Hart Malloy, Exec. Dir., HHS.
The Three Oaks Restaurant, located on Killingworth Road, was established in the mid-1940s by Frank Hrbek who came to Higganum from New York City. Residents today know the property as Three Oaks Plaza office complex.
The restaurant offered dining for lunch and dinners and entertainment including modern and old fashion dancing, polish hops, waltzes and floor shows. It was a popular location for parties, weddings and banquets. The Hrbek Family who operated the restaurant in the 1940s through 1960s, included Frank Sr. and his wife, Betty and their son Frank Jr. and his wife Helen.
For many years the Haddam Volunteer Fire Department held their annual Ball at the restaurant to raise funds for the organization. The Higganum baseball team, “Higgies” would hold banquets and fundraisers in order to buy new uniforms. In the early years there were even boxing and wrestling exhibitions. Music was provided by a variety of entertainers including the Karaucyzk Orchestra.
The building was destroyed by fire in 1973 and rebuilt as the Four Seasons Dinner Theater which operated from 1974-1975 and produced such shows as “Promises, Promises,” “Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” and the “Odd Couple”. Higganum Hall operated for short six months followed by the Pine Brook Dinner Theater in 1976-1977. Camelot Theater opened in 1978 but also short lived.
The Haddam Historical Society is collecting stories, memories and photographs, including menus and invitations from both the restaurant and dinner theaters for an upcoming online exhibit. If you have something to share please call 860-345-2400 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos provided by the Haddam Historical Society.