When we first moved to Columbia, SC from the big city of Orlando, FL, I was disappointed the there were not as many big chain stores I was used to having nearby. Like the fact there is no Apple Store (Greenville or Charlotte are not close enough for me). However we were thrilled that were SO MANY great local restaurants, because in Orlando all we really seemed to have were chains.
Watching a PBS special about great places to eat in South Carolina, they mentioned the Beacon Drive-In located in Spartanburg. Then a few months later we met a women from Spartanburg who told stories of going there as a teenager with her husband (then her boyfriend) and made it sound SO GOOD! So on our next trip toward Asheville, we stopped by!
The iconic sign still stands and directs you back in time. Then you go inside to order. It is like stepping back in time when you walk in. Opened in 1946, and the man at the front (J.C. Strobel) has been there helping call in the orders for all the customers since the very beginning! In fact, they even say you gotta “CALL IT” when you step up. Be ready and know what you are getting, otherwise they will move you out of the way so others can order! The line moves FAST! *(see what it is like on this video link).
We managed to order and get down the line only to find they do not take debit or credit cards (they will take checks which we were thankful for…) and get ready to chow down!|
I got (and loved) the cheeseburger and I had to get it “a plenty”. That is what they call their “meal” deal there and means it come with fries AND onion rings! It is something that started back in the days after the depression and when times were hard, but you could get a meal there for just a little money but the meal was “a plenty”. *(if you get your meal “a plenty” just know you can share your fries and rings with a friend… no need for both of you to go “a plenty” or you will NEVER eat it all! And in case you are like my daughter and you do not like burgers or hotdogs, do not worry. They have tons of other options! She got chicken soup and ate every drop!
Check it out if you are ever anywhere near Spartanburg. It is good old-fashion fun!
*(and be sure and get some ice cream too before you leave!)