Sunday, April 03, 2011

An Iconic 1950's Drive-In

A St. Paul icon drive-in restaurant will close permanently on Sunday, April 3, 2011, unless historic preservationist and hot-rod enthusiast can halt the sale of the property to the neighboring Episcopal Homes senior facility.  Porky's has been in business for decades; the present owner started to work there years ago as a teen-aged car-hop.  On week-ends it has been the gathering place in the summer for vintage and hot-rod car owners who congregated there to talk and to compare cars.  When I visited the restaurant on Saturday there were lines of several hundred nostalgic customers patiently waiting in line for their last Porky's meal. Tomorrow I'll show you a photo of one of the loyal patrons. To read about Porky's history and to see a slide show of the drive-in restaurant, click here.



At the Center

In Kansas, on top
of an old piano,
a starfish, dry
as a fancy pastry
left sitting there
during a wedding,
spreads its brown arms
over the foam
of a white lace doily,
reaching for water 
in five directions.
    --Ted Kooser


  1. Soo sad to see that place close! We've driven by it many times especially when we lived in St. Paul!
    So long, Porky's!

  2. It's hard to see these old icons die out!

  3. I hate to see that happen. I hope they can stop the sale.

  4. What a shame to lose these old places.

  5. In Glendale CA we have a Bob's Big Boy that was one of the originals...complete with drive in. It was designated as a historical landmark and is jam packed with people all the also has vintage cars on the weekends!!! We baby boomers sure like our 50's memorabilia don't we?!!! Good there a possibility that it gets designated a historical landmark before the transaction??? Although that certainly does complicate things for the current owner hoping to's a tough situation...but when places like this are torn down..they're gone forever.

  6. Love the poem.

    Poor Porky's...but it's probably run its course.

    I can't understand why anyone would name a food emporium "Porky's." Down here we are "Fat Boy's Barbecue"! Not too enticing, it would seem.

    But, I've been wrong before. Once. :-)

  7. Some towns are saving their old neon signs that were grandfathered before modern zoning codes prevented them. I hope they can save the old, non-chain drive-in.

    Sorry about your problem with leaving comments on Julie's Scottsdale Daily Photo site. Julie wrote to Blogger and supposedly they fixed whatever was the problem. Thank you for telling us that it is continuing. We thought it had been fixed.

  8. At least, you can see some fine 'rides', I bet. I was going to say, "That's all folks!"

  9. I've never been there, but it's sad to see a piece of "Americana" disappear. Thanks for sharing your local history lesson.

  10. How sad to see such a fun place fold!

  11. Part of me sees progress and part of me sees the loss of a local icon. I hope the hot rodders find another place to show off their wheels.

  12. Thats a shame its closing. Sounds like the owners went to the buyers and offered the place up. Shame they didnt try to find someone that would keep it open.

  13. What a pity! It's always hard when institutions will close we have come to love.

  14. I saw place like this only in movies, but I feel an affection for them...

  15. The price we pay for future development; destroy our past. Sad to see it go.

  16. The sign is absolutely fantastic! Sad to know it will be tear down soon. Maybe you can keep it, Kate... :-)

  17. I can see me porking out at Porky's! Um-um good!


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