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Best of the Town

By Kelsea Kierstead
posted April 20, 2011

Despite unfortunate, not-so-spring like weather, the iconic drive-in Ardy and Ed’s reopened in late February to carry on a prideful, Oshkosh tradition. The “blast from the past” drive-in has been serving generations of Oshkoshians on South Main Street since 1948. The drive-in began as the A&W; Root Beer stand, and boomed into the attraction it is today. Featured in numerous local and national publications and TV broadcasts, Ardy and Ed’s drive-in has become a must-visit for people from all corners of the world.

Presently owned and operated by Ardythe and Steve Davis, this gem of the city is most famous for its own draft root beer. As the key ingredient in Oshkosh’s voted number one float, fountain favorites are also a tasty treat to savor in summer months. Almost any concoction of chocolate, vanilla, root beer, marshmallow, strawberry, cherry, raspberry, butterscotch, caramel or hot fudge can be selected in a malt, shake or sundae for the craving customer. Accompanying any “greatest hit” and “Oldies but Goodies” sandwich or burger basket, the feel of the sock hop era is treasured and celebrated. A fairly new edition to the menu features the Fab 5 specials including the customer’s choice of a hot dog, coney dog, hamburger, BBQ or grilled cheese with regular fries and regular drink for under five dollars.

As a further celebration of culture, the third Thursday of every month features nostalgic, collectable vehicles in Cruise Night. The local oldies radio station WVBO attends and broadcasts from the drive in, completing the blast from the past aura. Attended to by waitresses on roller skates, Ardy and Ed’s provides an out of the ordinary dining opportunity for the customer. Conveniently located just across the street from a boat launch, venturers of the sea can stop in after a long day on Lake Winnebago. Patio seating is available for those who would rather enjoy the elements outside the comfort of their car, also waited on by carhops. Ardy and Ed’s apparel and souvenirs are also available for purchase as a memory of the divine drive-in adventure.

While modern times can keep Oshkosh residents constantly looking ahead, Ardy and Ed’s awakens the senses to bring the family to reminsce on the good ol’ times. Ideal for summer fun, Ardy and Ed’s will continue to be a treasure for generations to come.

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