The Herald Bulletin

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Columns

June 29, 2013

Jim Bailey: Drive in or walk in, Anderson had a plethora of eating places

From time to time I’ve mentioned some of the restaurants, drive-ins and hole-in-the-wall diners I’ve frequented over the years. Feedback I’ve gleaned from others, not to mention memories of places I’ve walked or driven by without sampling their wares, convinces me I have barely scratched the surface.

The B-K Drive-In at 17th and Jackson streets was one. Opened in the late 1950s by the Snyder family, it was a popular hangout that served root beer and hot dogs (of course) as well as other fare. Later a second location opened at Broadway and School streets, now the site of a Ricker’s gas station. Olsen’s Drive-In on Scatterfield also served B-K Root Beer (it’s now Gene’s Root Beer, perhaps the last car-hop drive-in in town). My understanding is there is still a B-K in Alexandria now.

Even before Taco Bell made runs for the border a household expression, Taco Tico had several locations in Anderson, including Mounds Road, 53rd Street and Broadway. Some still say they preferred it to Taco Bell.

Peach’s Pancake Cottage on Broadway did land-office business in the 1960s, not only for breakfast but dinner as well. And on Scatterfield you could eat breakfast at Sambo’s, just off Eighth Street on the west side, and dinner at Don’s Barbecue (later Damon’s) across the street.

Elmo Flatt’s Alibi restaurants were an institution for many years with three different locations – 14th and Jackson (now the site of a McDonald’s), just south of the bridge where Jackson becomes Broadway, and another on 53rd Street. The Broadway location, which later became Jerry’s and the Jumbo, was known as the A&W Alibi Drive-In, one of several A&W Root Beer locations in Anderson.

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