f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

Remember Park-N-Eat?

Posted Tuesday, September 29, 2009, at 3:02 PM

Remember Park-N-Eat?

The drive-in restaurant opened July 8, 1940 in Cape Girardeau. The photo was taken by G.D. Fronabarger. Our librarian, Sharon Sanders, found this information in the Southeast Missourian archive that was published July 9, 1940:

New Establishment Has Fine Opening

The Park-N-Eat, 2300 West Broadway which opened for business Monday night, had 1,000 paid customers the first seven hours of its operation, according to the owner and manager, G.M. Campbell. The building, a circular affair, is modernistic in design and the interior, finely finished, is lighted at night with the new fluorescent type of illumination.

The establishment, featuring short orders and refreshments, has 12 employees, seven working on the exterior as waitresses and five employed inside the building. The structure is located in the center of a one-acre tract of ground, on which other improvements are to take place later. Additional exterior lighting effects are to be installed on the building as soon as equipment arrives.

An advertisement for the business includes:

Drive out today, order your favorite sandwich, choice of fountain or bottle drink, and have it served by our curb girls in the comfort of your own car. Use the tables in our smart circular cafe room if you prefer.

No obstructions--you get full benefit of every breeze. Open every day until midnight.

Fast Forward:

The site is currently China Palace.

Pfister's was Park-N-Eat


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  • What a great place that must've been! I love that art deco style of architechture! I would imagine that it was a fine evening to cruise into the Park 'n Eat in a hopped up '32 Ford, or a blown T-Bucket. Maybe drive one of those new fangled high compression Oldsmobile V-8's in to catch a quick bite after catching Key Largo or Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein.

    There are several of these pre / post war "snack shacks" still standing south of Scranton, PA. Some of them looked like they were still operating within the past few years, but all of them are closed down now :(

    -- Posted by Lumpy on Tue, Sep 29, 2009, at 7:08 PM
  • More stories and photos like this would be appreciated. It is nice to see the way things used to be.

    -- Posted by Costanza on Wed, Sep 30, 2009, at 8:39 AM
  • The building looks exactly like Pfiester's Drive in that's shown with a different address on Broadway. Pfiester's open in the 50's & early 60's.

    -- Posted by Yankee Station on Sun, Oct 4, 2009, at 8:29 PM
  • This is the same building that later became Pfister's Drive-In, isn't it?

    -- Posted by blapp on Sat, Nov 7, 2009, at 12:17 AM
  • I remember Pfiester's from when I was in college in the early 60's, but I don't remember what it looked like. I didn't think it was round, however.

    -- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Dec 8, 2009, at 7:07 PM
  • I can say park-n-eat and pfisters were both in the same building. park-n-eat before 1947. pfisters after 1947. My dad's house was directaly across the street from pfisters. His house number was 2324 broadway. Today that lot number is 2126. I walked across broadway dozens of times to get that great pfister burger.Ray Boren

    -- Posted by rboren on Fri, Jan 1, 2010, at 1:31 PM
  • Here's an aerial of it I found in the basement of the Common Pleas Courthouse:


    It also shows Central High School under construction.

    -- Posted by Ken1 on Mon, Jul 16, 2012, at 1:31 PM