Johnny’s Drive-In, Whirling Satellites and Schachne’s: Do You Remember?

Posted: February 2, 2015 in Life, Things I Love
Tags: , ,

Alright loyal readers, sit back and enjoy a trip back to yesteryear, a journey in time if you will. Those of you under the age of 45 may not understand a lot of what you’re about to read, but rest assured you may find it interesting anyway. What we’re about to discuss are memories of days gone by, places that once existed that have since vanished into the mists of time. So sit back, read, and see if this takes you back to a better place.

Now that I’ve lured you in with my poetic prose, let me explain exactly what I’m talking about. I was talking with a friend the other day and we started discussing establishments around our area that were at one time popular but for whatever reasons ended up shutting down. On a related note, my readers from other parts of the USA and beyond will have zero idea what the hell I’m talking about.

But enough chit-chat. Let us begin. Do you remember these?

Burger Boy Food-a-Rama

Anybody? The home of the twirling, or perhaps whirling, satellite? Used to sit in front of Central 11Center? I used to love that place. And remember when the sniper opened fire on the place and shot a woman going through the drive-thru? Good times. But seriously, that actually happened. Wait. Now that I think of it, was that a Burger Chef? No, I think it was a Burger Boy. Am I confused? I’m getting a headache.

The White Cow

The White Cow was a restaurant on High Street on the north end of town. They had a cool white cow on the sign, oddly enough. They served breakfast too, I believe. My uncle Myrl used to eat there every day. True story.


We’re going old school now. Schachne’s was a department store in downtown Chillicothe that had entrances on both Paint Street and Second Streets (I thought but have since been corrected in the comments). I recall going in there as a kid. They had these wooden floors that would creak as you walked on them. The store had two floors and even had an elevator. I can still remember how it smelled. Alas, the strip malls came to be and Schachne’s died a painful death. Sad, really.

The Big Wheel Saloon

The Big Wheel was a great little bar on Paint Street. Unfortunately, it seems the little neighborhood bar may be a thing of the past. You know, places where you go in with the sole purpose of having a drink or two and nothing else? Nowadays a place has to serve food or have TVs and stuff. The Big Wheel had none of that, and it was perfect.


The inappropriately named Sambo’s was a restaurant on Bridge Street, where Frisch’s now stands. Sambo’s was an all-night establishment that had great pancakes. It was a staple for those of us who had been out and wanted something to eat before heading home. For those who don’t know, the restaurant was themed after Little Black Sambo, a character in a racist children’s book that was written in 1899. Hence the inappropriateness. Anywho, other than the blatant racist overtones it was a nice place to eat a stack of pancakes. On a related note, that last sentence has probably never been written before.

The Silver Lady

The Silver Lady was a little bar on East Main that used to have live music, cold beer and a distinct lack of atmosphere. One of our favorite local bands, The Knapp Brothers, used to play there a lot and we’d go to hear them play tunes like “East Bound & Down,” “I’ll Fix Your Flat Tire, Myrl” and other country rock tunes. Good memories of that place, man.

Tastee Freeze

Back in the 7o’s the Tastee Freeze used to sit where Giovanni’s sits now. As most of you know it was a Dairy Queen type of place, and it got a lot of our business because it was on the west end of town. I spent a lot of nights sitting in a booth at Tastee Freeze, drinking a vanilla shake, contemplating life and how I’d somehow lost Myrna Grossman back in 8th grade.

Sam’s Place

Sam’s Place was a huge bar/concert venue that sat off Route 23 a few miles south of Chillicothe. This was back when those huge bars were popular, like Gilley’s in Urban Cowboy. Sam’s Place had great southern Ohio bands like Black Leather Touch and SD Kite play there. There were constant fights in the parking lot, as I recall. Not involving me, of course. The building still stands and houses a carpet business or something. But man, if those walls could talk . . .


Ah, the 10-cent store! It was in Central Center and had one of those little restaurants inside with a soda fountain bar and spinning red stools. They also 11111served Coke Floats and had the best grilled cheese sandwiches known to man. Dad used to get his hair cut nearby once a week and I’d head to Woolworth’s to buy a few 45s at 72¢ each. For you youngsters out there, 45s were small records that had an A and B side. I couldn’t wait to get those records home to play them. Great times indeed.

Reider’s Drugstore

Reider’s was a great drugstore (I think on Church Street maybe?) that had one of those soda fountains similar to the one in Woolworth’s. They had all sorts of candy and other assorted goodies that could make a 10-year old kid’s head swim. I had an aunt and uncle that lived down the street, hence my familiarity with Reider’s.

Fiesta, Torch and Moonlight Drive-Ins

Kids have no idea what they’re missing nowadays. The demise of drive-in theaters is simply tragic. So many great nights were spent there. Everything was better at the drive-in, including the pizza. I used to love it when people would start honking their horns as it started to get dark, demanding that the movies begin. Our area used to have three, yes three, drive-ins.

On the north side of town was The Fiesta, on the south side was The Torch, and earlier there was a drive-in on the east side of town called The Moonlight. There’s still a cool drive-in up in Lancaster that I highly recommend.


Who remembers this little restaurant? The letters NCL stood for Nice Clean Lunch if I remember correctly. I used to stop in there a couple times a week for a sandwich. Nice little place to grab lunch. Oh, and it was clean.

The Office Lounge

Remember The Office Lounge? It was a little underground bar that sat below where The Chillicothe Paints store is now. It was tiny and very intimate, and always seemed damp to me. It was a nice little bar if you wanted a quiet getaway.

The Adena and Majestic Theaters

11Once upon a time, children, Chillicothe had two places where you could go watch a movie. Incidentally, both were old, classic theaters that weren’t originally built for the silver screen. They had balconies and were beautifully ornate structures that were works of art in their own right. Just wonderful places to sit, relax, enjoy some popcorn and a box of Milk Duds* while watching a movie.  The Majestic, by the way, is still in operation on a limited basis.

*I have seldom watched a movie in a theater without enjoying a box of Duds. It’s tradition, kids.

Johnny’s Drive-In

Johnny’s was an after-game fixture back in the day. They had those pull-up spots where you ordered through speakers and a waitress would come out with your 111111food so you could eat in the car. Of course, you could always go inside and sit in a cool booth if you wanted. They had great fried chicken, tenderloins and strawberry pie. Today there stands a Taco Bell were Johnny’s used to be. Sigh.

There were other places that my sisters used to talk about, but they were a bit before my time. I’ll have to rely on some of my older readers to tell you about Ater’s Lake and The Sugar Shack.

On a more personal note, there were a few more places that I remember fondly from growing up. If you were a kid in Bourneville in the 60’s you’ll remember Homer Ward’s Sohio Station, Lance’s Store, Ted Wisecup’s Sunoco Station, Springer’s Store, and the Texaco and Sinclair Gas Stations. And who can forget the old church where the Dairy Hut now stands? Oh, and I recall a place for high school kids in Bainbridge called The Bearcat’s Den or something like that?

I know I’ve forgotten a slew of establishments, and I’m counting on you guys to remind me of them. Please understand that I realize I could be off on some of my recollections, and if so feel free to correct me. After all, it was a long time ago.

So, loyal readers, do you remember these? And what have I forgotten?

  1. Cindy Chalfant says:

    Great post! Things I haven’t thought of for years! Wasn’t the burger establishment on 50 West in front of Central Center called Borden Burger? We used to beg to stop there on the way home. I remember the NCL too. Aunt Betty and Uncle Bill used to live on 8th street (which I think is now a parking lot). We’d visit on Saturday sometimes and go there to get a bunch of cheeseburgers for all of us. They were delicious! Thanks for reminders of a great childhood in Chillicothe!

  2. ando1977 says:

    remember closing The Silver Lady and going to Sambo’s with about 20 people and a food fight broke out?????????

  3. (janet) My late ’50s, early ’60s memories have more to do with dances at the Chicken Inn, Ater’s and the Sugar Shack.
    Always went to Johnny’s for the onion rings. Thanks for the recollections.

  4. Sarah Schachne Smith says:

    Schachne’s was at Paint and Main Streets. It had 4 floors and the elevator went to all floors. Yes the wooden floors had a wonderful sound and the tin ceilings were beautiful. It was founded in 1887 by my Great Grandfather, Great Uncle and Grandfather and continued by my dad, Maurice and his brothers. It was sold (sadly) in the 70’s to a family that couldn’t keep it going. We love to hear all the wonderful memories that everyone posts … makes all of the daughters of Richard, Peavy, and Maurice very proud and very happy!

    • Shoe says:

      Thank you for the comment! I appreciate it.

    • Ellen Baubles says:

      And the Schachne grandchildren, too!

    • Sandy Rodgers says:

      I have such fond memories of Schachne’s. My mom worked there when she was in high school and continued to work there off and on for many years. It was like a family visit when we went. I remember talking with Maurice. And Helen who worked in hosiery, and Tammy in cosmetics and many others. Loved spinning on the stools by the sewing patterns. And was always fascinated by the cash tube system. 🙂

  5. Becky Hertenstein says:

    Schachnes entrances were on Paint and Main. The two main memories I have about the store are the elevator and the pneumatic rubes.

  6. Colin Kelley says:

    Your cracked staff has really jogged the old memories! Used to cruise Bridge St on a Saturday evening. Sugar Shack had some great bands. Swiss Navy, Four Speeds, The Shags, and I’ll never forget The Byrds playing there. Ater’s Lake was the best! Great bands…. my fav was The Dantes. Great Rolling Stones cover band. They would have beach parties with live music occasionally. The Chicken Inn was another great place for live music. It was on Western Ave where the KFC now sits. Good times!!

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