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  • Writer's pictureLawrence Lore

Got Root Beer?

On January 27, 1958, the Daily Record reported an accident had occurred in front of the Frosted Mug Drive-In just east of Bridgeport on old Alt 50. The vehicles of Ronnie Senters driving west on the highway shortly before 3 o’clock and the station wagon driving by Paul Barret coming from Bridgeport, side-swiped each other causing the station wagon to turn over. Harry Griesemer, a passenger in the Barrett car, was pinned beneath the wreckage. Spectators aided in righting the vehicle and then took the injured into the drive-in restaurant until an ambulance arrived.

Then again on August 8, 1967, another accident occurred there involving Mrs. Helen Fahnestock and her grandson, Robert Fahnestock. The newspaper article didn’t state whether they were taken inside to await transport to the hospital, but if they were, perhaps Robert was given a root beer in a frosty mug.

After reading about these two accidents that happened in front of the Frosted Mug, our researchers realized they had no file in the research library about this particular business. The first mention they could find in the local newspapers was in 1956, when Carl Rowe sold the George Field Grocery to own and operate the drive-in. He advertised in 1957 that on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday if you purchased one root beer you would get another one free.

Later in the fall of 1957, the Frosted Mug started serving lunches and dinners. A Sunday dinner special was chicken, home made noodles, mashed potatoes and hot rolls, all for only fifty cents. If you wanted the turkey dinner, it was sixty cents. Milk shakes at this time were fifteen cents on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

For several years the business would close for one day each summer for the annual employee’s picnic. In 1957, it was held at Shakamak Park.

In 1962, the business was sold to Jack and Reba Wells. The grand opening special, Tuesday July 10th, 1962, was two milk shakes for the price of one, plus a penny.

An advertisement on March 12, 1970, featured home -made pizzas, sandwiches, ice cream and curb service. The name of the Frosted Mug had been changed to “Bridges Drive Inn” (Yes, that is the way it was spelled…with two N’s.) No other information about this business has been located as of yet. If you were a carhop there, please share your experiences with us or if you have one of those root beer mugs that you might like to donate to us, we won’t ask any questions about how you came by it.


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