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“Unique entities offering quality, affordability and consistency become more valuable and cherished with each passing day!”

Bob Martin, Review Magazine

Take a step back in time and experience Saginaw’s award-winning coney dogs and draft root beer, served up carhop style by the best people you’ll ever meet!

Since 1940, we have delighted customers with original recipes, great service and an old-time atmosphere. Still family-owned and operated, we proudly source with local vendors. Our amazing staff delivers delicious food and the old-fashioned restaurant services you love right to your driver’s side window. Outside and inside seating as well as take-out are also available.

We look forward to serving you! Bring your appetite and your loved ones for lunch or dinner. While we are best known for Saginaw’s original coney dog, draft root beer, rooter floats and coolers…we have a full menu of mouth-watering, reasonably-priced food!

Customer Memories

“It was our first date 65 years ago.”

“I came here with my grandpa and now I bring my own kids”

“I moved out of state 25 years ago but whenever I come back home. I have to get Spatz bread, Vernors and Old Town Drive In”

These are the kinds of stories we hear EVERY DAY at Old Town Drive In.

What’s yours?

Submit YOUR Old Town Drive In story

fact_or_fiction

Old Town Drive In was once an A&W restaurant.

FACT! Old Town Drive In was first opened in 1941 as an A&W franchised establishment and remained that way until the early seventies when A&W began moving away from car-hop service and toward more standardized large brick and mortar buildings. Upon dropping the franchise, owners at the time changed the name to Old Town Drive In but never put up signage or advertised. So, the restaurant was referred to by many as “The Old A&W” for years.

FICTION! We use the original recipe and it DOES NOT include bologna. Original owner and sauce creator, Bill Farwell, used to come into Old Town Drive In when his wife had hair appointments nearby. We straight up asked him if bologna was EVER used in the coney sauce. Bill said no. The only exception might have been during World War II when meat was occasionally not available.

Today, Old Town Drive In’s famous coney sauce is so coveted, others restaurants buy it to serve to their customers. It is also available to our customers on dogs and in pint, quart, and gallon containers for takeout.

FACT! Though the original restaurant was only open during the late spring, summer and early fall, it has been a year-round establishment for more than 30 years now! Years ago, to promote new year-round hours to customers, owner Geoff Emede offered $.49 hot dogs between Christmas and New Years. He quickly ran out of hot dogs and buns!

FACT! During the warm weather, Old Town Drive In serves over 10,000 customers each month!

FACT! Old Town proudly serve Koegel hot dogs on Aunt Millie’s buns. Our french fries come from Stapleton’s, and we are the only restaurant to use this cut of potato in the area. Our famous steak sandwich features Napolitano bread. These are just a few examples!

History

1941

Old Town Drive In was originally an A&W restaurant first opened by the Farwell family right on our current site on Gratiot and Granger in Old Town Saginaw.

1962

Farwells demolished the old building and built the current one on the same property.  We still use the original root beer system!  Did you know that we sell our draft root beers to other bars and restaurants throughout the area?

1970

The Farwell’s daughter, Irene, took over the business.  For the next decade there would be at least two other owners, including the Trogan and Greketis families.  During this time, the A&W franchise was dropped.  The name was changed to Old Town Drive In, but because there was no signage or advertising, nearly everyone still called it “The Old A&W”.

1987

Eddie starts working at Old Town Drive In.  He would soon become the guy that has been making the coney sauce and root beer for over 33 years. He’s also a familiar face to many throughout Saginaw.

1987

Current owner Geoff Emede and his family took over Old Town Drive In and made it a year-round business.  To this day, people still ask it we’re open in the winter time. We are!

1993

Erin, one of Old Town’s most familiar faces, started working here.  Now her son Brett works at Old Town Drive In too.  Most staff are long-term employees…with three parent/child pairs.

2019

We are so proud to still be an anchor in Old Town Saginaw!  Over the last 32 years, we have continuously upgraded the kitchen, prep area, dining counter, exterior and parking lot.  And yet we work hard to keep everything “the way it was” for those who are nostalgic.  In fact, 90% of our menu is the same today as it was 40 years ago.  According to one of our regulars, our Basketburg was $2.25 when she started coming 35 years ago and is still just $4.35 today!

Something that does change is our fan base.  Thanks to online restaurant reviews and resources, we have a surprising amount of out-of-state traffic in addition to our tried-and-true local supporters.  All day long we have people walking in the wrong door, which tells us they’ve never been here before!  In addition, for locals who have moved away, Old Town Drive In is a “must have” when they return home for a visit.