Hangin’ Out At The Ice Cream Stand …


Remember back to when you or a friend had the keys to a car? Where did you go? My friends and I went to the drive-in! It was a great place to hang out, and you might even meet a member of the opposite sex.

There were different kinds of drive-ins from custard stands to burger joints to drive-ins with actual things to do, like miniature golf, a driving range and possibly even an arcade. How cool were we?

07-08-10-052 Driving Range

In rural America, local entrepreneurs served homemade ice cream and soft serve treats until the franchises of Dairy Queen and Tastee-Freeze, two Illinois operations, arrived on the scene. Dairy Queen is the older of the two having started in 1940, ten years before “Tee” and “Eff” began operations. During the summer months, many families planned their days around going to the custard stand together after dinner. You could get vanilla, chocolate or a swirl.

dairyqueen1960 tasteefreeze

The burger joints were also local “mom and pop” joints that existed in nearly every town and regional franchises in bigger towns.  Among the oldest of the “franchises” is White Castle, having been started in Kansas in 1921. After that delectable burger arrived, others followed, including Carl’s Jr. in 1941, McDonalds and In-N Out in 1948, Whataburger in 1950, Jack In The Box in 1951, Burger Chef and Burger King in 1954, and Hardees in 1960. I remember White Castles as being the most affordable, but not necessarily the gourmet’s choice.

White Castle                              2-28-1963-1-393x600

Jack in the box Burger Chef 1960s_BurgerKing_SW8St61Ave_425H

But we must go back to my local hangout, Romeos. Romeos had it all … besides all the aforementioned delicacies and the golf distractions, it also had frozen chocolate bananas and the best pizza and hot dogs on the planet … but as a friend recently told me, in those days, canned spaghetti tasted great.

f5d592ab0da8a99b50a07f3fcdfecd37 imgres-1

I rest my case!

4 thoughts on “Hangin’ Out At The Ice Cream Stand …

  1. We only had one fast food/burger place in town (Palm Springs, CA) so A&W’s was the place to go. All the seating was outside since it was much like a kiosk and it was in the desert. Burgers, chili dogs, root beer floats (the best), etc. and unbelievable french fries! When I moved further out from town in the unincorporated area I started working at Tip Top Burgers, which was a mom and pop burger joint. I ate there every day because the owner saw that as a perk and could keep good employees. Since our shifts were such that we ate two meals a day for free, I found I couldn’t afford to work somewhere else. Eventurything and not gain an ounce! Eventually I did leave to move out of the area altogether.

    When our girls were growing up we would take them to a place in Tustin, CA called Omega Burgers. They were the biggest, greasiest burgers we’ve ever encountered and I don’t know how my husband and I don’t have grease clogged arteries from that place, but boy were they gooooooood! We probably moved to Lake Forest just to get away from Omega Burger!


  2. Do remember Carroll’s? I believe that was the first franchise in Danville. It was where Burger King is today across from where we went to High School.


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