The "Fabulous" Kegs
Grand Forks, North Dakota
Photo Source: http://www.choppedonion.com/id169.html
If you don't remember the Kegs Drive-in then you must have been locked-upbt really strict parents. I lived only four blocks from The Kegs and visited it countless times during my youth and especially my high school years. Each of us have our own memories of "dinning" at the Kegs. For starters there were the 19 cent Sloppy Joes and the Lime Cokes and the French Fries. The hamburgers were great as was the chicken if my memory serves me well. Better stop for now..., as I am getting hungry.
Time for a little history just in case you don't know - The Kegs has a history of course and one I never knew until I did a little research surfing:
"In 1929 William "Harry" Muzzy of Crookston, Minnesota entered the world of curbside service by building a two-story root beer barrel in Great Falls, Montana. Over the next seven years, during the worst times of the Great Depression, he erected a string of wooden barrels across the Upper Midwest."
In 1928 James E. Clifford of Great Falls, MT suggested to Harry Muzzy that he join him in a partnership and obtain a franchise from the Triple XXX Root Beer Company based in Texas.
"Harry Muzzy and James Clifford built a two-story, barrel-shaped business on the eastern outskirts of Great Falls in 1928, Clifford providing the investment for half of the net profit. Muzzy and his wife, Martha, whom he had married in Crookston in 1927, supplied the labor for the other half."
"Soon after the stock market crash in October 1929, the Barrel began to feel the strain of the depression. In 1930 prices were reduced to a nickel per serving for adults (children still got a smaller mug for free), but even that proved to be profitable. The only real limits appeared to be those of nature. Root beer stands are seasonal businesses, and the Great Falls Barrel had to close when temperatures plummeted. The Muzzys later used a slogan that put the rationale in a nutshell: 'Closed for the Season. Reason—Freezin'."
In 1931 and 1932 Harry and his wife built drive-ins, without a partner, in his hometown of Minot, ND and in Crookston, MN.
"Harry Muzzy followed his successes with another
Barrel in Grand Forks, North Dakota, in 1935. This one, according to
records in the city engineer's office, cost approximately $350 to
build. In a yearly succession thereafter. Barrels sprang up in
Detroit Lakes, Dilworth, and Wadena in Minnesota and in Devils Lake,
North Dakota. Muzzy dropped the Triple XXX brand just after he built
the Minot establishment, when he got a better price on concentrate
from the Liquid Carbonic Company of Chicago. Instead of the old
logo, new large-print five-cent signs now signaled the way to the
"Harry Muzzy's health began to fail in the 1940s, and he died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1948 at the age of 64. In nineteen years, he had established and tended a chain of eight Barrels; to have expanded to any greater extent would have involved selling franchises. . .Over the next decade, Martha Muzzy sold most of the Barrels to their local managers. She kept control of The Kegs until 1968 and continued to manage the Crookston Barrel herself."
"Patrons at the Grand Forks Kegs and the Crookston Barrel found their introduction to drive-in automation in 1957. The Servus-Phones equipment, purchased in Minneapolis, allowed faster service to customers and attracted patrons as a novelty of the Sputnik age."
"The Dilworth and Detroit Lakes drive-ins
eventually fell into disrepair, were moved to different locations,
and ultimately were destroyed. The Sioux Falls establishment
flourished enough to outgrow two buildings by the mid-1950s. Eagan
eventually rented his property to a Burger King franchisee. The Keg
in Minot, damaged by a 1969 flood, suffered demolition in 1971. The
Barrel in Devils Lake, vacant and deteriorating for three years, met
its end by controlled burning in 1984."