In 1932, John Louis (JL) Mandt and his wife
Gertrude opened Huntington’s first Drive-In restaurant.
They purchased a little piece of land on Fifth Avenue in Huntington West Virginia, and built, at a cost of $1,750,
a tiny building which still stands today, and it was modest, even by depression-era standards.
The menu only consisted of two items, Stewart’s Root Beer and popcorn. Sales for the first day totaled a whopping .50 cents.
Business that first year did not meet their expectations so the very next year, the Mandt’s expanded their menu to include a hotdog sandwich,
complete with Gertrude Mandt’s mouth-watering chili sauce. Business improved and the second generation was recruited.
Their son Harry, and his wife Isabelle, moved from Ohio to help run the business. Little did they realize that four generations later,
the business and the little orange drive-in would still be going strong? Even today, Gurtrude’s mouth –watering chili
is still prepared by hand…and her secret recipe closely guarded by their great-grandson.
(Source -- stewartshotdogs.com)
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