PORT DOVER – Long before MacDonald’s, A&W or any other world-famous burgers-and-fries establishment, there was The Arbor.The restaurant at the corner of Walker Street and Main Street in Port Dover has been a favourite with beach-goers and day-trippers since it opened in 1920.When staff sling their first foot-long Thursday, they will mark the 100th year that The Arbor has been a going concern along the Lake Erie shoreline.According to historical accounts, The Arbor was an instant success when founder Carl Ryerse of Simcoe opened for business in 1920.Ice cream was the focus at the outset. However, when ingredients became scarce during the Second World War, Ryerse shrewdly shifted to hamburgs, hot dogs, fresh-cut fries and the unique orange drink that became known far and wide as Golden Glow.The business passed through sons Victor and Vernon Ryerse before it was sold to Tony Schneider Sr., owner of The Erie Beach Hotel next door, in 1984.Schneider’s sons Tony Jr. and Andrew were entering adulthood and their father saw an opportunity to launch them on their way.Today, Tony Jr. operates The Arbor while Andrew – a partner in the business along with his wife Pamela – manages The Erie Beach.“Andrew and I have never taken credit for what The Arbor is,” Tony Schneider Jr. said Wednesday.“But we will take credit for perpetuating The Arbor tradition.”The Schneider family is still thinking of ways to celebrate the centenary. Saturday, May 25 has been set aside for this purpose but the family wants to be careful how they go about it.Schneider Jr. has thought about going nostalgic and offering The Arbor’s famous Ritz Red Hots for 10 cents each. But that, he added, “would bring more people to town than Friday the 13th.”Given that weekends in Port Dover are crowded at the best of times, the family intends to keep it low key. There will be birthday cake, T-shirts and the occasional free give-away. More details will become available as the celebration draws near.There aren’t many eateries in Ontario that have been around as long as The Arbor. Wednesday, Great Lakes historian Frank Prothero noted that Mackies of Port Stanley opened for business in 1911 and is still going strong. Prothero contributed to the book Boardwalk Memories which was published on the occasion of Mackies’ centenary in 2011.Schneider says there’s no secret to The Arbor’s success.The business is in a great location near the Walker Street beach, which for generations has been a draw for families from Hamilton and the Brantford area. Customers often share stories of how their parents introduced them to The Arbor when they were children.Carl Ryerse was also a stickler for quality. He imported one of the first electric ice-cream machines to Canada in the early 1920s. And the menu and the quality of the food hasn’t changed much since the Second World War.“It’s like the Cove Room at the Erie Beach Hotel,” Schneider said. “People know what they’re going to get before they walk in the door.”That goes double for Golden Glow.Schneider is one of the few people in The Arbor’s long history who knows how to turn fresh oranges into the famous drink. The late Vern Ryerse personally showed him how.“People cut corners to save money,” Schneider said. “But you have to be careful. That can come back to haunt you.”[email protected] read more