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Lights On For Service! Stewart’s Drive-In, Vineland NJ Vineland, NJ

Posted on: July 15, 2009

I am a sucker for car hop service. You know, where you put your “Lights On For Service” and someone comes out to your car to take your order, and later hangs the food precariously off of the window of your car? How much more Retro Roadmap “Happy Days/American Graffitti- style” can you get  than that?

When you’re heading down the shore I can think of no better place to get this throwback service than Stewart’s Drive-In, in Vineland NJ.

Stewart's Drive InBe on the lookout for the sign with its Broadway style lettering, because the cheery orange cube of a building is surrounded by a white carport, obscuring the beautiful roadside delight of a place. And on a good day the place is also completely surrounded by cars, trucks and SUVs,  reminiscent of little baby piggies, all gathered ’round to get fed from the mom!

Root Beer On Tap

Once you pull under the carport into the cool shade, you can’t help but fall in love with the clean and bright orange and brown decor, and you’d be a fool not to order a root beer in a giant frozen mug (even if it is moments after you had a diner breakfast just up the road!).

Mug From A Window

(I remember taking my first official road trip down the coast with my sister many years ago, and being positively smitten with the root beer stand that we stopped at, and the way that the car hop delivered the napkins to the car- bitten by the jaws of the flip-top salt and pepper shakers.  Can you imagine how delighted I was to see this same quirky method being used here so many years later? How very clever!)

The Colors of Root Beer

The menu is what you would expect, fast, with a few notable exceptions – I’ll leave it up to you to try the tuna on toasted raisin bread. Root beer icy cold and sweet, served in a big ‘ol glass mug. When the friendly car hops weren’t helping customers, they were keeping the place spic and span, always nice to see someone taking care of a place.

Lights On For Service
What more can I say? It’s the season to  eat in your car- so get out there,  put your Lights On For Service, and head to Stewart’s in Vineland. Make it a date night and go to the Delsea Drive-In when you’re done!

Stewart's Drive In on Urbanspoon

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  • Suzanne McGillicuddy

    This reminds me of the only Rootbeer Drive-In I’ve ever visited during a trip to my friend Ruth’s hometown of Michigan City, Indiana where they have Carlson’s Drive-In. I’ll see if she can write up a Retro Roadmap entry the next time she goes home to visit family!

  • modbetty

    That would be great! I so want this to be a place where everyone can contribute things to put on the map! Wish I could be everywhere at once, but I know from experience it’s good to trust a local person.

  • Trevor Herrington

    Once again , great memories of visiting this place. Jeanie, my partner had told me about Stewart’s and all it entailed, so she took me there and wow! What an experience, I loved the service where they put the tray on the door and root beer….it was my first taste of the stuff, ice cold on a hot day (along with the burger), you can’t beat it. We saw a Stewart’s stand on the Boardwalk at Ocean City, New Jersey, but it’s not the same as driving in there. Looking forward to her taking me there again.

    • modbetty

      Trevor- New Jersey has quite a number of drive in Root Beer stands, I hope to get as many of them as I can on the Retro Roadmap. Next time you’re visiting you’ll have your choice of places to go!

  • Amy

    Ooooh! I did not know there was a Stewart’s in Vineland. It’s right down the road from one of my favorite places, The Delsea Drive-In theater. 🙂

  • Toni SanMiguel Mazzeo

    Yo! I used to go here all the time when I lived in Vineland….it was the best! Of course, that was in the late 60s, then I moved to California, 30 yrs later I live on Oahu, Hawaii. Ain’t life grand? But I never forgot this great place….am coming to So.Jersey for a month in July 2011 & you can be sure that I’ll be stopping by Stewarts!! Don’t change a thing before I get there!

    • Toni – how cool that these are fond memories for you even after all those years! Crossing my fingers they won’t change a thing- thanks for swinging by the Retro Roadmap!

  • We just stopped in for a draft root beer at the Stewart’s on Pulaski Highway in Baltimore, MD. Yum!

    • oooh, a black cow could hit the spot right now!