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 is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.