Laws were leaner, business was better, and it wasn't as hard to get by.
Pam, 46, and her husband, Mike, 42, worked at various bars and eateries before they married in 1992. They always wanted their own business. Eight years ago, they opened Kickin' Kadilaks Bar & Grill in York Haven after stumbling upon the opportunity.
Pam knows how to run a bar, and Mike works best in the kitchen.
"We kind of complement each other well," she said.
They had never been to the former establishment before they bought it, and Pam said they knew it would be difficult to promote a business that's so far off the beaten path.
If seeking restaurants
I really enjoy exploring more remote places of the county, and on my drive there, I looked for other restaurants to profile. Oftentimes, that's how I find the hidden gems.
I parked in front of the business, which I knew had more of a bar clientele from speaking to Pam before. She told me the dining room usually isn't too busy during the day, so I didn't expect to see much of a crowd.
I ordered a grilled buffalo chicken salad, which is on the menu, but also a special for the day. I asked for the bleu cheese dressing and sauce on the side. I wanted to try the wing sauce after reading about it on the restaurant's website. Dubbed "home of the hot legs," the eatery serves up some fiery recipes - such as suicide and misery wings - and also sells a variety of other sauces.
A waitress brought the meal quickly. Chicken topped a bed of iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, carrots, cherry tomatoes and homemade croutons. The hot sauce had a spicy tang to it, and I liked the combination of ingredients. All in all, a very good meal.
While I ate, I scanned the room's dark décor. Strings of jalapeños line the walls, mirrors and some windows. Motivational quotes pepper the room: "Too much of a good thing is wonderful," "Life doesn't get much better than this" and "Never, never give up."
I thought about the type of person who hangs such sayings - someone who not only believes them, but also wants to make others feel good.
Pam said her parents taught her to always do her best and that she tries to maintain a positive outlook even through trying times.
She said she and Mike did a lot of work on the building, including installing a new bar and removing a drop ceiling. She said the building is about 200 years old and used to be part of the underground railroad.
"It's nothing fancy," Kadilak said, adding that the outside doesn't look like much. "There have been many people over the years that have driven by our place. You just hope that once they come through the door, they change their mind."
Cheap Eats profiles local restaurants with meals for less than $10. Suggestions are welcome. Reach Leigh Zaleski at 771-2101, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
LOCATION: Kickin' Kadilaks Bar & Grill, 19 S. Front St. in York Haven
LEIGH'S PICK: Grilled buffalo chicken salad and a diet soda ($8.34)
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday
PRICE RANGE: $1.95 to $16.95
SMOKING: Bar only
ACCEPTS: Cash and credit
KID'S MENU: Yes
DETAILS: Call 266-6976 or visit kickinkadilaks.com