CLEAR LAKE, Iowa — Barrel Drive-In in Clear Lake, known for its broasted chicken and homemade root beer, has closed after nearly six decades, and some of the local are voicing their displeasure.
Julie Pals is a local photographer who snapped pictures of the diner’s iconic barrel being hauled away Sept. 29.
“I was sad about it,” Pals told the Globe Gazette . “I was hoping someone would save it, I love the Barrel chicken and the atmosphere the place had.”
The diner’s owner, Seth Thackery, and a real estate agent listed with the property declined to comment to the newspaper.
The Barrel Drive-In had been put up for sale earlier this year, after community members had rallied to try to save it.
In August 2014, volunteers painted the entire exterior of the building, and Thackery won $75,000 in internet marketing, business consulting and other related services.
A “Save the Barrel” website was made, and business was so successful that year that the seasonal restaurant stayed open a month later than usual.
The following year, Thackery opened a drive-in with new lights, renovated bathrooms and a new sound system that played 1950s tunes for customers.
Now, the nearest Barrel Drive-In is in West Union, about a 90-minute drive away.
Pals had no trouble voicing what she will miss the most about the Barrel.
“The food,” she said. “Probably the food.”
Information from: Globe Gazette, http://www.globegazette.com/