The drive-in restaurant is a dying breed. Born in the mid-twenties following the automobile boom, the drive-up restaurants saw their heyday in the 1950s and '60s before gradually losing steam to the newfangled drive-thru restaurants.
This week on the podcast, we chat with Chris Roepke, third generation owner of Nite Owl Drive-in, an old-school joint that’s been serving up burgers, ice cream, malts and shakes since 1948. He shares the history of the drive-in, his thoughts on keeping the iconic business running into the 21st century and the secrets behind Nite Owl’s tasty burgers.
We also chat about the secrets behind Nite Owl’s burgers, the ups and downs of running a seasonal business and Roepke shares fun stories and memories about one of Milwaukee’s longest-running businesses.
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Lori Fredrich (Lo) is an eater, writer, wonderer, bon vivante, traveler, cook, gardener and girlwonder. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she has tried to leave many times, but seems to be drawn to this quirky city that smells of beer and alewives.
Some might say that she is a little obsessed with food. Lo would say she is A LOT obsessed with food. After all, she has been cooking, eating and enjoying food for decades and has no plans to retire anytime soon.
Lo's recipes and writing have been featured in a variety of publications including GO: Airtran Inflight Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Cooking Light, Edible Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as on the blog Go Bold with Butter, the web site Wisconsin Cheese Talk, and in the quarterly online magazine Grate. Pair. Share.