MYSTERY PHOTO: An old store, but where?

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This photo, unlike recent photos, is in South Carolina, but where?  Warning:  It might be tricky.  Send your best guess to: and make sure to include your name and hometown.  If possible, write “Mystery Photo” in the subject line.

Last week’s mystery was a toughie, but we figured George Graf of Palmyra, Va., would figure it out.  He did, writing that the photo was of Market Lunch at the Eastern Market near Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.  Graf writes, “Market Lunch is owned by Thomas Glasgow and has been an Eastern Market institution since 1985, where best sellers such as crab cakes and Blue Buck pancakes made with blueberries and buckwheat are served cafeteria-style at a 30-seat community table.”

We asked him how he tracked down the location based on the clues in the photo, he admitted it was tough because it could have been a diner counter anywhere in the country.

“But looking closely for unique clues, I saw the pig with chef’s hat that usually indicates pork barbecue.  Secondly, I saw an empty plastic bucket on the end of the counter with the letters “STERS,” which I assumed was oysters.  Third clue was the man who was eating a stack of pancakes.  So, I worked on PANCAKE/BBQ/OYSTERS/DINER clues.  And just by luck I saw a photo with the French fry paper container that seemed to have the same crosshatch line markings as the one on your mystery photo and I saw a matching bright red table tray as well.  Concentrating on that photo and more like it got me to the Eastern Market and a more detailed search of Eastern Market photos got me to see a stainless steel cooler door from Market Lunch that I also recognized from your photo.”

And now you know why George Graf is a premier photo sleuth!

Send us a mystery:  If you have a photo that you believe will stump readers, send it along (but make sure to tell us what it is because it may stump us too!)  Send to: and mark it as a photo submission.  Thanks.


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