Illustration by Brian Curran

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OUR STORY

Jerry's Drive In is an East Pensacola Heights eatery located at 2815 East Cervantes Street, at the southwest corner of Cervantes and Perry Avenue. It was founded by Jerry Glass in 1939 as Jerry's Barbecue and at one point had a carhop-style service in the back, thus the "drive in" name.

Indiana transplant Raymond "Grandpa" Wessel purchased the restaurant circa 1952 or '53 and operated it with his son Bill. "When we first come here, we found out who everybody was," Ray said in a 1992 News Journal interview. "Wasn't nobody come in here who we didn't know what their name was."The father-and-son team wore matching white shirts with red "Southern colonel" ties, and they lived in the apartment above the restaurant. Wessel sold the restaurant to Jimmy and Pam Halstead in June 1997, but maintained a residence in the upstairs apartment until his death in 2003

The walls are covered with signs and bumper stickers, many with humorous or sarcastic slogans, along with sports posters and pennants of favorite area teams. According to Jimmy Halstead, "Everything we have here has been given to us. Anyone can bring in any décor, and we will hang it up."

 

HOURS:

MONDAY - FRIDAY 10 AM TO 10 PM

SATURDAY - 7 AM TO 10 PM

CLOSED SUNDAY