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Indiana eatery entertains patrons with Banjo-Orchestra machine

Joe Beech, 9, watches the instruments move as the new Banjo Orchestra machine plays at Zaharakos restaurant in Columbus, Ind. The device is a $75,000 replica of a 1914 Banjo-Orchestra, a whimsical jukebox of its day in saloons and elsewhere. (From The Associated Press)
Joe Beech, 9, watches the instruments move as the new Banjo Orchestra machine plays at Zaharakos restaurant in Columbus, Ind. The device is a $75,000 replica of a 1914 Banjo-Orchestra, a whimsical jukebox of its day in saloons and elsewhere. (From The Associated Press)
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Tuesday, July 09, 2013 12:01 am
COLUMBUS, Ind. — A century-old Indiana ice cream parlor and restaurant has added an old-time mechanical jukebox to its menu of attractions.Columbus’ famed Zaharakos eatery recently installed a replica of a 1914 Banjo-Orchestra, a device that served as a whimsical jukebox a century ago.

The six-foot white oak cabinet houses nine instruments, including a piano, banjo, snare drum and tambourine. It’s currently programmed to play 180 songs, from “Red River Valley” to “Rock Around the Clock.”

Zaharakos owner Tony Moravec tells The Republic newspaper in Columbus the Banjo-Orchestra is “magnificent.” He says the song-playing machine is a good companion to the eatery’s 1907 self-playing organ.

The century-old establishment reopened in 2009 after a three-year hiatus and a $1 million makeover. It’s filled with early 20th century furnishings.

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