Skip’s Drive-in

If you’re from Chicagoland and of a certain age, you know about Skip’s.  Located on the south side of North Avenue, just east of First Avenue in Melrose Park, this was our most famous teen-magnet drive-in from the 1950s into the 1970s.  Technically, it was the Fiesta Restaurant.  Everyone called it Skip’s.

I have no idea if there was a real Skip.  I didn’t hang out there.  I spent most of my teens hanging out in bowling alleys, and didn’t have a car to cruise the suburbs.

Skip's Drive-In (aka Fiesta)

Two of my friends were Skip’s regulars—J Greaser from my high school, and Henry K from bowling.  They seemed to be there every weekend.  I did tag along with Henry K once.  He’d borrowed his dad’s Chrysler New Yorker, convinced the young ladies would be impressed by the chrome and tailfins and horse-power.  Like most of Henry K’s schemes, it didn’t work.

Years later, in 1976, I took the picture of what was left of Skip’s.  It was being torn down to make way for a Polk Brothers store.  Now, of course, Polk Brothers is also nothing more than a memory.

You’ll meet people who claim that Skip’s was the inspiration for Arnold’s Drive-in on the TV show Happy Days.  Maybe it was.  Could be it wasn’t.  But does it really matter?



5 Responses to “Skip’s Drive-in”

  1. 1 Ralph July 28, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    It was like a auto show every weekend there! Some of the coolest and hottest cars hung out there! Some drag racing on North Ave. as well!

  2. 2 Phil October 24, 2015 at 7:46 am

    I hung out at Skips from 1969 to around 1973 had a 1965 impala ss and a 1969 ford torino fastback 428 cj. went into the service and moved from the area after that, was sad to see it close but have great memories from there. Phil

  3. 3 mary July 10, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    I was a car hop there in 68 or 69. Yes it was fun….l but the pay really was 10 cents a car……and teenagers don’t tip. What a memory.

  4. 4 Judy Larson March 8, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    i was a carhop in the early 60s what a great place

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