Archive for the ‘Hamburgers’ Category

They say don’t shoot the messenger, so don’t be mad at me or Retro Roadmap Reader Mike Hauer, who was kind enough to update me that the Elliston Place Soda Shop in Nashville, TN is scheduled to close on August 1 because they are unable to pay their rent.

You can read the details here in the article Mike sent me.

We visited the soda shop – which has been open since 1939 – during our short visit to Music City and just had not written about it yet. The Elliston Place Soda Shop is the oldest continually operating (in one location) restaurant in Nashville. Elliston Place Soda Shop Vintage Sign Nashville TNThough we were fit to burst (well, I was anyways) we could not resist the call of the neon ice cream soda and air conditioned comfort. Retro Roadhusband also liked that it was right next door to a music store. Counter Elliston Place Soda Shop Nashville TN

They had your usual lunch counter style fare – award winning burgers, “Fresh Fruit Ades”, milkshakes and more. There was a table of sweet old ladies sitting right next to us who ordered the luncheon special – we ordered some fries and RRH got a chocolate milk shake.

Here’s the ladies enjoying their luncheon…

Ladies Who Lunch at the Elliston Place Soda Shop Nashville TN

And here’s wacky Retro RoadHusband, enjoying his milkshake (and maybe not enjoying my constant photo taking!)
Milkshake Surprise Elliston Place Soda Shop Nashville TN

There was a big juke box in the back of the soda shop, music professionals “talkin shop” at a nearby table and some cool (though not working) table top juke boxes.
Elliston Place Soda Shop Nashville TN  Table Top Juke Box
One of the understandable reasons the Soda Shop is closing is because business is down. Makes sense, as more people are eating at home.

But if we all don’t occasionally go and spend at the cool old places we love so much they won’t be there. And with places like Elliston Place Soda Shop the prices are reasonable, so it won’t break the bank for each of us, but it would make a difference in the long run.

So if you’re going out for a splurge or just a sundae remember, the money you spend locally is really investing in the kind of world you want to live in – small independent cool old places still existing and not being replaced by chains.

Best of luck to the Elliston Place Soda Shop folks, and thanks to Mike for the heads up.

Elliston Place Soda Shop
2111 Elliston Place
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 327-1090 ‎

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Since 1948 the Tasty Dip in Heflin, AL has been offering tasty food and sweet treats to reward folks who get off of Interstate 20 to drive the back roads. The Tasty Dip wasn’t even on our plan or radar, but when we got off of 20 because of horrible traffic their cheery neon sign was our reward!

Tasty Dip Neon Sign AL


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From the comments on my photo of Bubbling Brook in Westwood MA I know I’m not the only one with fond memories of this seasonal restaurant and ice cream stand nestled in the suburban greenery southwest of Boston. Open since 1951 from mid-May to Mid-September a visit to The Brook is a sign summer has begun!

Bubbling Brook Restaurant(The 1897 on the chimney refers to the year that Westwood became a town,
separating from Dedham. Now you knows!)


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Ever been to a drive-in restaurant that had a multi-level parking garage? If you answer yes that must mean you’ve visited The Varsity in Atlanta GA – the world’s largest drive-in restaurant. According to their website:

“Our Downtown Atlanta location is on more than two acres and can accommodate 600 cars and over 800 people inside. On days when the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets are playing a home game, over 30,000 people visit The Varsity.”


The Varsity Drive In Exterior(I’ve got a photo of myself in front of this very entrance, from 1998 – if I can find it I promise to post it!)


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Home of the famous Suzy Q fries (nom) tasty burgers and vintage car nights, Skip’s in Merrimac opens today for the season! Harbinger of spring for sure

Read all about our adventures at Skips here and become a fan of Skip’s on Facebook!

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So glad we took a quick detour off the highway near Dallas to eat lunch at Theo’s Drive in in Grand Prairie, TX. If that colorful vintage sign doesn’t get you, the friendly service and delish classic burgers will!

Theo's Drive In Car Hop Service

We pulled up under the checkmark canopy at Theo’s and initially thought we’d go for the classic car-hop experience, as the waitress came right out to our car. However we smartly realized we were barely into a 10-12 hour journey and this meal was our one opportunity to be OUT of the car, so we went into the low slug cinderblock building. Not as picturesque but good for our road moods.

Theo's Drive In Menu

During our Retro Roadtrip I learned that confessing your tourist ways can often bring pleasant results, so when I told the waitress we had never been there and were just passing through, she recommended we get their classic burger. 2 please, with cheese! After seeing this sign on their property I knew what I had to order to wash that down:
Cre Mel Root Beer Vintage SignYep, I got a root beer. Not sure if it was Cre – Mel brand but it was refreshing. I swear I drank more root beer on this road trip than I’ve had in the last 10 years.

Using the downtime waiting for our order, I took a look around the simple building and found evidence of Theo’s history in the grand opening newspaper ad dated 1958. Note the difference in spelling of drive inn and drive in.

Theo's Opening Day(And hey! That’s the canopy that the RetroRoadmobile  was currently parked under! Ah, history)

We were on the early side for the lunch rush, so it was a short time until our burgers came, and I’m telling you, even though this was my 3rd or 4th burger into this trip, it was one of the best one’s I had. Texas rocked as far as burgers go.
Classic Cheeseburger Yum!
While I loved how the bright sun made the colors pop on Theo’s well kept vintage signs I was extra pleased to find these videos of them at night with the neon all lit up! Thank you Vanamonde2 on Youtube for capturing these great vintage neon signs in action.

Theo’s Drive In Restaurant
2626 East Main Street
Grand Prairie, TX 75050-6211
(972) 262-3309

Theo's Drive Inn on Urbanspoon

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It was a happy coinkidink that our first stop in Austin TX was just steps away from Hut’s Hamburgers on 6th street – and bonus points for it being 2 for 1 burger Wednesday when it was time for us to eat between shows!

Hut's Hamburgers Neon Sign

As you can imagine Austin was pretty hopping during our SXSW visit and Hut’s was no exception. But folks were friendly, we found a place to sit and wait while our number was called, and that gave me time to peruse the layers of history, awards and funky finds lining the walls.

Car Hop Wanted and Steer Head(they are on a busy city street now, so no longer in need of the steer head car hop!)

According to a sign on the wall, the building was built in 1939 and originally a Drive-In restaurant called Sammy’s, and went through various renames and restaurant styles before it was named Hut’s in 1969. Don’t worry, there won’t be a quiz! But one thing this tells you is that, in the quickly metropolizing city of Austin, Hut’s is one of the few vestiges of what old Austin was like.

of course there’s more – read on!

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