Growing up in the 50′s and 60′s, there were quite a few Drive-in restaurants featuring car hop / curb service in the Greater Boston area, but these were short lived due to the short season of warm weather. One of the most famous was Adventure Car Hop on U.S. Route 1 in Saugus, Mass. It became famous due to the fact that they advertised on one of the most popular AM radio shows in the Boston market. The show was hosted by legendary DJ Arnie “Woo Woo” Ginsburg on WMEX, 1510 on the AM dial. These ad spots were immortalized on one of a series of oldies record albums that were put out in the 1970′s. The audio clips from Woo Woo’s shows with the Adventure Car Hop commercial was included on the Cruisin 1961 album.
I have more recently found out that there was more than one Adventure Car Hop and I am not sure if it was a chain or franchise concept. Another opened in Natick, Mass. on State Route 9 near the old Sherwood Plaza Shopping Center. This one operated for a few years before being renamed Galaxy Car Hop. Here is a newspaper ad anouncing the opening of this location (from natickmass.info)
Here is a so-so image from natick.wordpress.com showing it as the Galaxy Car Hop a few years later
I also found a reference to one on U.S. Route 22 in Union, NJ (from cranford58.com)
This image may have ultimately come from a source that had something to do with the design firm that designed these Car Hops because there was another one in Everett, Mass. called the Lasso Car Hop, and as you can see, this image is similar to the above one
I wish I knew more about these places and their connection to each other, but they are long gone except for the memories people have of them.
As the 1960′s progressed, fast food places that started to usurp the clientele that these Car Hops depended on such as McDonald’s, Burger King, Burger Chef and Carrol’s Hamburgers came more into vogue. Here is a photo from 1967 showing the Stoneham, Mass. location of Carrol’s Hamburgers.
The Carrol’s chain was started by Leo Moranz of Tastee-Freez out of the mid-west (his daughter’s name was Carrol) but really took off under the stewardship of Herb Slotnick from upstate New York who’s family had a chain of movie theaters. Slotnick became the largest francise owner of Carrol’s encompassing New York state and New England. He eventually bought out the chain from Tastee-Freez and was doing a decent job competing with McDonald’s and Burger King for a small chain. In the mid-70′s the Carrol’s Corp. made a major decision, basically they decided that they had brought the concept as far as it would go and instead switched teams to become the largest Burger King franchiser in the country. They converted some of the Carrol’s locations to Burger King and phased out the other locations.
Other drive-ins I remember were the chain of Richard’s Drive-Ins. This was the first foray into food service by General Cinema Corporation. The company famous for their Drive-In theaters as well as “hardtop” theaters eventually ran a chain of 10-pin Bowling alleys called Holiday Lanes which also featured Amy Joy Pancake Houses (as the food concession). Here is a color photo from my collection of the Wellington Circle location (Medford, Mass.) of Richard’s, shot circa 1964 by the late Medford photographer, Charlie Phillips.
and another shot b&w (annonymous) from my collection of the same place that
I had in the collection…….
Here are some bonus images, cleaned up versions of both (inside and outside views) of an Adventure Car Hop menu as well as a Richard’s Drive-In menu…