Few restaurants make their own root beer on site, and fewer still can say that they've lasted 60 years. First opening its doors in 1959, Frostop Drive-In celebrated its anniversary in grand style on Memorial Day weekend complete with custom T-shirts, mugs and even root beer growlers.
Today, the restaurant is owned and operated by Marilyn Murdock and Bing Murphy, daughters of founder Rupert McGinnis, who established the restaurant with his brother Bill Warnock.
"It's a tradition, and it's a landmark. We try to keep things very constant, and we try to keep the quality of our products at the highest level," Murdock said. "There are certain things that people come back for, like our hot dogs, like our root beer. We've added things over the years, but we don't take those important things away. My mother and my aunt made up the recipe for our hot dog sauce. My sister and I ate hot dogs night after night until they got it right. It may have been tweaked a little bit over the years because we've had different cooks, but it's made with basically the original recipe right here in our kitchen. Everything is made in our kitchen - our three kinds of pork barbecue, our beef barbecue and our slaw."
For some visitors, no trip to Huntington is complete without a glass of their famous root beer, served on site in a frosted mug.
"We have a vat on site filled with root beer syrup. We mix sugar with the syrup, and it's stirred, and it's stirred, and it's stirred. It's taken from there to be carbonated," Murdock said. "The full process takes about two days."
Frostop still offers one of the most affordable lunches in town. Customers can enjoy a hot dog for $1.64, a cheeseburger for $2.29, or a hickory pork BBQ for $3.19. There's also an assortment of frozen treats, including soft serve ice cream ($1.49 small, $1.79 large) and root beer floats ($2.49 small, $2.69 medium, $3.89 large). You can also enjoy a milkshake ($3.09) or chocolate malt ($3.09). Another hot day favorite is the Flavor Burst ($1.75-$2.05), which is vanilla soft serve ice cream with a ribbon of flavored syrup.
For those looking to commemorate the restaurant's landmark, anniversary shirts and growlers are still available; mugs are sold out but will be back in stock soon.
Frostop Drive-In is located at 1449 Hal Greer Blvd. It is open from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Cash and all major credit cards are accepted. For more information call 304-523-6851 and follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Frostop-Drive-In-165888996796186/.
NAME: Frostop Drive-In
TYPE OF FOOD: Hamburgers, hot dogs, ice cream
ADDRESS: 1449 Hal Greer Blvd., Huntington
HOURS: 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday
PAYMENTS ACCEPTED: Cash and all major credit cards