Sallie’s is named after Sallie Zimmerhackel, born in 1917 in Denver, Colorado, USA. She immigrated to Denmark in 1954. 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 track and became the originator of something quite unique.
Sallie happened to meet Danish Oscar Wittrup who had travelled around in America and who was fascinated by the motel concept with a drive-in. It was quite 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 under way. They found an empty field in Albertslund on the byroad between Copenhagen and Roskilde - a place that would be perfect for a drive-in motel for travellers to Copenhagen.
Wittrup Motel became the second motel in Denmark (the BP Motel in Roskilde was the first) 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 enterprising woman. That’s what everyone says who came to the snack bar in the 1950s and 1960s. And you get a clear sense of this 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 the guise of a woman”. In the article, Sallie tells animatedly and indignantly 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 Sallie used whose enthusiasm and commitment made a direct hit in the hearts of Danes. Even today 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’s website you can read more about the unique transformation of all the rooms.