Dining Out In The 1950s
Didn't the food somehow taste better from a car window tray?
While most drive-ins were privately owned, there were a number of popular drive-in chains. These included A&W, Dog n' Suds (1953) and McDonalds (1955).
Hamburger Hall Of Fame
The Drive-In Restaurant Page
Dog n' Suds
Save The Crossroads Drive-In
The Spot, 1955
The famous Snow Cap on Route 66
Many drive-ins had a round "aerodrome" design. An abundance of neon transformed them into wonderlands after dark.
Burger King (1954)
Kentucky Fried Chicken
Tastee Freez (1950)
During the 1930s and 1940s, Colonel Harland Sanders served his famous fried chicken at the Sanders Court & Cafe, a restaurant/motel complex in Corbin, Kentucky. In the early 1950s, a new interstate highway was built nearby which completely bypassed Corbin, taking away much of Sanders' business. In 1952 he auctioned off his complex and began to assemble a network of restaurants that would sell his Kentucky Fried Chicken on a franchise basis. He allowed them to prepare and sell his chicken, but the actual recipe for those "11 herbs and spices" remained a closely guarded secret, and is still a secret to this day.
Kentucky Fried Chicken History
The First Burger King
Horn & Hardart Automat
Bob's Big Boy opened in 1936.
The Big Boy chain was born in 1952 when the first franchise was sold to the Elias brothers in Michigan.
stone facade, pastel colors, sweeping lines and check out that sign!
Bob's Big Boy
Meet Me At The Automat
Good Eats: Restaurant Postcards
Howard Johnson's History
Bob's Big Boy Official Site
The Brown Derby
Along with soda fountains and lunch counters, these factory-built eateries had their last hurrah in the 1950s.
New Jersey Diners
Silver Diners Of Upstate New York
The American Diner
In the city, an evening of dining and dancing was considered the height of glamour. Many of the best restaurants were located in hotels.
More than a restaurant, but not quite a nightclub, the supper club was born in the 1930s. Supper clubs were open during the evenings only, and provided smaller towns with a touch of dining elegance. They were all-inclusive nightspots, with dinner, dancing and perhaps some live entertainment all in one place. Many supper clubs were located in vacation areas, where they operated in conjunction with resorts.
In New York, Sardi's was popular with the theater crowd and featured hundreds of colorful celebrity caricatures on the walls. In Chicago, the Walnut Room at Marshall Field's was a popular luncheon spot for stylish shoppers. The Blackhawk Restaurant introduced their famous Roast Beef Cart and Spinning Salad Bowl.
In the 1950s many restaurants and supper clubs were adopting the popular new Polynesian tiki decor. Nowhere was this style more prevalent than in the Trader Vic's chain of restaurants.
Most drug stores had soda fountains, and variety stores like Woolworth's had lunch counters. They were perfect for grabbing a quick bite during your lunch break or while shopping downtown.
1956 Woolworth's menu
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