One of my greatest pleasures is listening to Internet radio while on the road. The broadcasts could be from anywhere, putting a spin on the records being spinned,
One of my Internet finds was Doc South’s Show (http://timetravelispossible.com/OurInternetRadioStation.html) where, during the summer, he actually broadcasts from a ’50-’60s diner in Augusta, NJ, the Chatterbox Drive-In (http://chatterboxdrivein.com/). Doc made the site sound interesting, so on one of my trips to Jersey, I decided to stop in for dinner … and immediately was swept back in time. This is truly a ’50-’60s drive-in from the era of Happy Days and American Graffiti.
I’m a sucker for nostalgia. We have two throwbacks here in my neck of the woods which I frequent, Connie’s Diner and Mac’s Drive-In, both in Waterloo, NY. But, the Chatterbox caught me completely off guard. It wasn’t really a remake of a drive-in diner, but the real deal with plenty of windows showcasing the goings on inside and out.
Inside the restaurant is a large circular dining room with plenty of tables for both you and all of your friends. In the center is a stage that usually hosts a classic car, hot-rod, motorcycles or anything else of interest. The walls are bedecked with memorabilia, with Elvis or his contemporaries crooning softly over the speakers.
The food, likewise, was a blend of old time favorites — juicy hamburgers and deep fried hot dogs — to more modern fare like salads and seafood and wraps. I had the Classic, a classic burger, grilled to medium rare and served on a kaiser roll with lettuce, tomato and onion for slightly higher than the ’50s-’60s, but still within the inflation rate at $7.99. I substituted the French fries for a overflowing plate of beer battered, whole onion rings, fried golden brown. And I washed it all down with an old fashioned root beer float for $3.49.
I visited in October, but during the summer, May to September, the joint apparently comes alive with special events — Bike Night every Thursday … Corvette Night every second Friday of the month … and every Saturday, classic cars and hot rods fill the parking lot while DJ Doc South spins old records all night long. That’s not only the promo from Chatterbox owners, but from other news and personal reports I’ve been able to track.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Fools rush in where fools have been before.