Sallie’s is named after Sallie Zimmerhackel, born in 1917 in Denver, Colorado, USA and immigrated to Denmark in 1955. Sallie actually came to Denmark to be a teacher for children associated with the American Embassy in Copenhagen, but it was not too long before she changed her path and became the initiator of something quite unique.
Sallie happened to meet Danish Oscar Wittrup who himself had travelled around in America and was fascinated by the motel concept with a drive-in which was all new in Denmark back then. Sallie and Oscar Wittrup decided to start a business together and since Sallie was ready to jump the gun, not much time passed before the project was underway. They found an empty field in Albertslund on the highway between Copenhagen and Roskilde - a place that would be perfect for a drive-in motel for travelers to Copenhagen.
Wittrup Motel became the second motel in Denmark (after the BP Motel in Roskilde) and is currently Denmark’s oldest existing motel. At the same time, Sallie’s Snack Bar opened with Sallie herself behind the counter.
Sallie was a very special, committed and thriving woman. That’s what everyone says who came to the snack bar in the 50’s and 60’s - and you get a clear sense of that in the portrait the journalist and later author, Lise Nørgaard had published in the daily newspaper, Politiken, in connection with the opening in 1955.
Lise Nørgaard described Sallie as “an atomic bomb in disguise of a woman” – and in the article, Sallie tells committedly and resentful about all the problems of getting Danish banks to provide a loan and Danish authorities to issue permits.
“We had to have permits by the ton. Permit to exist, permit to build, permit to get a permit... gee ...” were the words from Sallie whose enthusiasm and commitment went straight to the hearts of the Danes. Even to this day, you can see tears in the eyes of those people who tell about the time with Sallie in Albertslund.
We have many photos of Sallie and the décor of the snack bar and motel hanging in the restaurant and on Wittrup Motels website you can read more about the unique transformation of all the rooms.