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National Restaurant Association - Columnist brings 1938 NRA president to life

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Columnist brings 1938 NRA president to life

henry dunnock.jpg

Like many restaurateurs, Henry Irving Dunnock rose from an entry-level kitchen job to own his own business. He started as a short-order cook, opened the Oriole Cafeteria chain in 1922 in Baltimore, and became president of the National Restaurant Association in 1938.

In those days, the NRA was based in Chicago, and the membership roster included restaurant titans J.W. Marriott and Vernon Stouffer.

Dunnock's story might have remained forgotten, but a Baltimore Sun column recently brought it to life. 

"He built that from the ground up," columnist Jacques Kelly tells the NRA, noting that the family put every nickel into the business.

Kelly, who remembers the Oriole cafeterias from his youth, wrote of Dunnock's career path, his creativity and entrepreneurship. Kelly's column also mentions Dunnock's community service and describes the restaurants' decor, ambience and menu.

Dunnock was one of the 13 restaurateurs who founded the Restaurant Association of Maryland in 1936. His son H. Reginald Dunnock, who took over the Oriole Cafeteria chain, was president of the Baltimore Restaurant Association in 1964.

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