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It’s Swell at Schell’s! Ice Cream, Burgers & Mini Golf, Temple PA Temple, PA

Posted on: April 28, 2010

We learned about Schell’s when perusing the paper placemat advertisements at The Ranch House. There, sandwiched between ads for adult daycare and tax prep services, the line drawing of the 1950’s looking Schell’s sign was all I needed to motivate us up the street about 10 minutes to check out the place. Seeing the giant vintage sign glowing in the dark was a total Retro Roadmap score!

Schell's Hot dogs Bar B Q

Updated 12/8/2011 – check out this cool nighttime shot we were sent by Photographer Kevin Shire:

dairy swirl schells hot dogs barbq temple pa kevin shire retroroadmap

– just gorgeous, ain’t it? Thanks for the share, Kevin!

Had we not just stuffed ourselves at The Ranch we would’ve partaken of something at Schells’. No matter- it was definitely worthy of a re-visit. So when a sunny warmish Sunday came along and I didn’t feel like buckling down to write right away, I suggested this roadside compound to Retro Roadhusband as a lunch diversion. Only goony thing that happened was that I forgot my camera, so these photos are from my phone.

Schell's Menu(pay no attention to the prices on the wooden menu, they’re strictly vintage!)

Serving Berk’s County PA for over 57 years, Schell’s is known for their hot dogs, BBQ sandwiches (a la sloppy Joe) ranch burgers and fried cheese cubes, as well as their Dairy Swirl ice cream shop and mini golf. While I thought it would be amusing to see the Lion’s mints on the hotdog roller while we were waiting, Retro Roadhusband and I decided on some Ranchburgers, cheese cubes (of course!) and fries.

Lions Mints or Hot Dogs

Learn from our mistake please and get into the shortest line you find or look for a seasoned veteran behind the counter taking orders, they seem to know a thing or two about getting an order taken quickly and efficiently. Our time jockeying for position in line however gave us time to absorb the atmosphere- a 1960’s 70’s looking brown cowboyish theme, and also notice how the place was constantly filling up with folks and families out to enjoy the sun.

Miniature Golf 27 Holes

Schell’s has indoor seating as well as picnic tables around their 27 hole miniature golf course, so we thought we’d go outside and watch some putting as we ate our food. No lie, right there near the end of the course we saw a Richie Cunningham look-alike and someone that could give Roy Orbison a run for his money!

Our food was plentiful and tasty- though I will admit the ranch sauce on the ranch burger was off-puttingly sweet  and I’d probably opt for a regular cheeseburger next time. Also, fried fan that I am, I love the idea of fried cheese cubes but I have to admit that the fries, thin cut like a certain McFastFood place, were almost better than the cubes. One of my fave local  fun food fans  Holly Eats gives Schell’s 4 grease stains, so I have an excuse to try some other things next time we’re perusing their menu.

Cheese Cubes and Ranch Burgers

As we sat watching the golfers golf and the diners dine, I declared that Schell’s combo of food, fun and ice cream would make it a perfect place for a first date. While I did realize that my imagination was seeing junior high school kids from the 50’s and 60’s going out on a double date, I personally would be charmed if anyone suggested this place for a swell evening out. Gosh knows what “kids these days” would think 🙂
Schell's Hot Dogs BBQ Dairy Swirl Cool Signs!
Since we ate sooo much during lunch and had no room to try out their ice cream selection – which I’ve read includes hard ice cream, soft ice cream, water ice and sherbet, it’s a sure bet (HAR!) that RRH and I will be heading up there sometime soon – on a hot date to get a cool treat!

Schell's on Urbanspoon

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  • Great post (as per usual!)

    Love the sign, love the golf … just love the whole idea!

    Schell’s is now on my “to-do” list. There is a nearby castle-themed restaurant that has been on my list for quite awhile — so maybe I catch them both on the same trip 🙂

    • Thanks for the kind words! I’ve got a bunch of posts to catch up on and a lot of cool stuff to share!

      Castle themed restaurant? I’m intrigued! Can’t wait to read about it WendyVee!

      • Benjamin

        Schells Changed for the worse. I would NOT recommend getting the fries (changed to these nasty crinkle cut fries)

        Even though you might say- Oh I can handle crinkle cut-NO they taste like something that sat in the freezer for 2 years untouched.

        • Oh Benjamin, that’s a bummer to hear! Thanks for posting the updated info here on Retro Roadmap, so folks know what to look out for. Much like places that can be demolished in an instant, businesses can change their offerings without notice, and I would hate to have people be disappointed about the fries.

  • rick

    water ice?

    • Rick – as someone “from away” here in PA that was my response too – what else would you make ice from? It’s like Italian ice or slush, and often pronounced wodder oice in these parts 🙂

  • Sure bet! I scream with laughter!

  • I know, I’m wicked punny 😉

  • Bill

    So, to finish the 50s/60s era mind picture – imagine the original little 3D guy with a Hot Dog spinning in the notch above “H” in “Hamburgers” (like the Big Boy). Add autos – from 57 Chevies and T-Birds, to Austin Healey 3000’s and Morgans through the 60s. Add a few Bikes like a Hog or two, BSAs, and the neighborhood Indian Chief. Whalla! Our every night, go to socialize, “Happy Days” place for Muhlenberg High! Yes, Warm summer nights were idyllic here. The drive-in was 3 blocks away. And the generations of kids checking out Schells continues.
    P.S. Lemon Blend was the fountain drink of the day!

    • Bill- Wow, I can only imagine what an even cooler place it must’ve been back then! Thanks so much for swinging by the Retro Roadmap and sharing your memories of the good times at Schell’s! Retro Roadhusband still owes me a hot date up there to get some cold ice cream- can’t wait!

    • Benjamin

      That Little Guy has a funny story- back in the 80s(ish) they remodeled Schells. And Gave the sign Brand new light sockets. At that point someone accidently threw the little dude in teh dumpster and they never got him replaced, although i think they should

  • Bob Keim

    Wow, I just thought about this place and gave it the old GOOGLE. I grew up about a mile and half from the Drive in.
    My parents would take me there once in a while for a treat.
    Then as I got a bit older, I would go there with my friends and play golf. After that, in my teenage years, Lets just say, Schells is where EVERYONE went! After the races, after a dance, EVERY night during the summer. HAPPY DAYS was SCHELLS! The food was always good and the place always clean. I moved away and only visited every once in a while. Haven’t been there since 1992 but I’m sure it’s still the same.

  • Mike

    If I’m not mistaken it was owned by the same folks who created the Ranch House. I believe there was also a second Schell’s (with mini golf!!) in the Mount Penn area. I think it still exists under another name.

    • Mike- That would make sense to me since I recall learning about Schell’s from our placemat at the Ranch House. And their signage sure looks similar. Can’t wait for it to be mini golf weather 🙂