Last week we had two Adult Root Beers at Tim And Shelly’s Second St. Bar And Grill in Chillicothe but this week we’re going to sample some good old fashioned non-alcoholic Root Beer at a Peoria Institution known as Lou’s Drive-In. This drive-in has been in operation at the same spot on Knoxville Avenue for over 50 years. We were there just about a year ago when the Peoria Hot Dog Wars were raging on and they just opened up for the new season a couple of weeks ago. So it’s definitely time to stop by and have a couple of Root Beers at Lou’s. No danger of a D.U.I. tonight!
There's been thunderstorms going on all night tonight, so I'm hoping Lou's is open. It's just up the street here and we'll find out soon.
The lights are on at Lou's so let's drive in and park and see what's happening.
Looks like the rain has kept the crowd down tonight and there's plenty of places to sit over here. Let's grab a stool and settle in and soak up the atmosphere here at Lou's Drive-In.
Super-cute Niki is serving up the first root beer of the evening and flashing the MBIP card. Is that the best smile in the world or what?
Here's Niki with two of her equally cute co-workers, Annie and Katie. Katie told me that she used MBIP as a model for a school project at ICC and she got a hundred on the project! Nice to know that MBIP is being used in the educational field, especially since I barely made it out of high school!
This is the view from my stool at Lou's. The root beer keg is situated there in the middle of the photo.
The signage that hangs over the side of the stand gives me a Coney Island flashback.
The lit up signs at the front of the stand have a Coney Island feel as well.
Here's a shot from the back of the parking lot with the iconic Lou's sign pointing the way to the stand that's been here in the same spot for over 50 years. Lou's is one of those rare places that just gives you a comforting feeling hanging out there, you really can't explain it unless you've been there.
The other side of Lou's...we've looked at Lou's from both sides now, from up and down and still somehow, it's Lou's illusions I recall...I really don't know Lou's at all. I think someone put something in my root beer!
Here's Dara and Abbie, the two pretty carhops on duty for the evening.
I don't know what the secret to this popcorn is, but it's the best in town...but just like those pretzels on Seinfeld, it's making me thirsty!
See? I just drained the first mug of root beer...
And so it's time for mug number two!
Suddenly...stacks of car window stands!
At this point, Peggy who's the daughter of the original owner Lou LaHood (and who refuses to have her photo taken), came out and said hi and brought this photo from the first year that Lou's opened in 1953. I took this photo and then she gave me a spare copy that she had so I could scan it in, so you could see it better. Check it out below...
Wow, how cool is this? This is probably one of the first pictures of Lou's from 1953! That's Peggy's dad, Lou in the center of the picture and to his left is his brother, George LaHood and to the right of Lou is his brother-in-law, Ed Kouri. The carhop on the left is unidentified. If anyone knows who she is, please let us know. Thanks to Peggy for this picture, it's gong to be framed and hung on the walls here at MBIP Headquarters.
Emily on the far right came out of the back and was bummed out because she didn't get in a picture, so I snapped this one of her with Niki and Annie. Cuteness times three!
Okay, the root beer is gone and it's closing time at Lou's, we'll see you all tomorrow...and hey, let's be careful out there!