Editor’s Note: This is the 351st in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.
HUNTINGTON — In 1946, Fred and Gloria Long opened a small drive-in restaurant at the foot of the old Spring Valley Bridge in Huntington’s Westmoreland neighborhood. It would be the first in a legendary local chain of restaurants — the Parkettes — that over a span of nearly four decades fed untold thousands of hungry customers.
In 1952, the Longs opened a second Parkette restaurant on U.S. Route 60 in Kenova, across from the old Ceredo-Kenova High School. Two years later, in 1954, the couple opened the Waverly Road Parkette next door to Chandler’s Plywood Products in Westmoreland.
In 1960, the Longs opened their 5th Avenue Parkette in Huntington, across the street from Marshall University’s Twin Towers Dormitory. And from 1977 to 1983, they operated Long’s Family Restaurant at 6th Street and U.S. 60 in Ceredo.
The Longs sold their 5th Avenue Parkette to Dwight’s Restaurant and the Waverly Road location to Chandlers. In 1974, L.D. Maynard, the owner of the Fat Boy Restaurant in Chesapeake, Ohio, purchased the Kenova Parkette from the Longs.
Over the years, the Kenova eatery had become a tremendously popular spot, and that continued after the Parkette sign came down and the new Fat Boy sign went up.
On Saturday mornings, members of the C-K Athletic Boosters would gather for breakfast and an opportunity to offer their opinions about the previous night’s football game. On school days, it was a poplar lunch spot for C-K students. And in the evenings it attracted a crowd of regulars to discuss the news of the day.
A Dec. 3, 1981, fire all but destroyed the popular Kenova restaurant.