THE CONTEST OF THE CENTURY
The Parkette Drive In, before the name was changed to Shoney's.
This was a typical ad for the Parkette Drive-In.
BUT THEN.... THE CONTEST
This ad ran in May of 1954. Alex has teamed-up with the Big Boy name but he doesn't look anything like he would later. Notice that at this time, there were already Parkette's on the Blvd near the bowling ally, 35th and MacCorkle, 3rd Ave in South Charleston, Summers Street across from the Kearse, and 5th Ave in Huntington.
THE SIMI FINIALISTS
The contest was unbelievably popular...
WOW! WHO WON?
SOME OLD GUY
Just kidding. But it would have been really cool if some early Rock & Roller, you know... with the greased back Ducktail and leather jacket would have won. Or an early Hot-Rodder! These are the one's that made the the early business right? But that's OK, Shoney's went on to become a huge force in West Virginia's economy. and that is still being felt to this very day.
The winner decided to sell the car.
Now we have Shoney's
For some time after the contest, the business was referred to as "Shoney's Parkette" just to get people used to the new name.
Shoneys #1 on Partick Street in the early 60s.
I was really surprised to find this ad from 1955. This Shoney's was right across the street from Charleston High School, and yet, I cant recall even one person ever talking about this location. In 1965, I would actually live right behind it, but by then, this Shoney's was long gone. I have to assume that it only lasted a couple of years. I also believe that it was later turned into the "Coffee Shop", a place that I visited often.
The "Big Boy" as we would come to know it.
Newspaper ads from the Charleston Gazette and Daily Mail. Shoneys photo from SJHS yearbook via Nancy Williams