I'm looking for the Whirl-A-Way restaurant?
April 1, 2005 8:59 AM   Subscribe

I have seen archival footage of a strange restaurant called the "Whirl-A-Way" and I am trying to dig up that footage or any other information about the establishment.

Around 1987-1989, I saw a documentary on the (if memory serves) Capitol Street housing projects (perhaps by PBS, perhaps called "Capitol Street") in Washington DC (though I had thought for a long time that it was in Chicago for some reason). During the standard "hey, the fifties were crazy whitebread fun" montage, they showed a restaurant which I believe was called "Whirl-A-Way." The restaurant had tracks shooting out from it in a spoke. Little cars shaped sort of like breadboxes rode the tracks and carried food out to your car. When I do searches for "Whirl-A-Way" or "Whirl-Away" I'm swamped by helicopter part manufacturers and the like. I can't find evidence of the restaurant nor the documentary, which I wouldn't mind seeing again, not just 'cause, you know, of the restaurant footage.

Please, ask.metafilter, pimp my question.
posted by user92371 to Media & Arts (3 answers total)
omg....I can't believe how much I (unsuccessfully) searched for something so intangible and so far away - AskMe obsessional behaviour - medication available no doubt.

All I can suggest after that minimarathon (that actually took me to the website of a member here somewhere along the line - growabrain - strangely enough) is to write to PBS and ask them. [damn! I hate not finding things]
But you might like to look here.
no doubt someone with talent +\- memory for the doco will come along and present you with the answer
posted by peacay at 10:12 AM on April 1, 2005

I've found a reference to "Whirl A-Way Drive-In" in this book:
'Car Hops and Curb Service: A History of American Drive-In Restaurants 1920-1960' by Jim Heimann (p. 76 from the index). I'm only reading from the excerpts which Amazon provides. Perhaps you could email the author at Loyola Marymount for background.
posted by namret at 12:18 PM on April 1, 2005

Response by poster: I was able to find an image of the menu on Amazon by using the "search inside" feature on the book you mentioned with the string "approaching the drive by calling out" which gets you to page 77, and then you can jump back a page, and zoom in. The menu design shows that it was at the corner of Lakewood (assuming it's not a longer word like "Superlakewood" or "Treeforestskysunlakewood") Boulevard and X, where X is difficult to read, in California. There are several towns with a "Lakewood Boulevard" in California. I'm performing malicious photoshop surgery on the cropped intersection to reveal the name of the cross street with little luck. "St." something, maybe. Everyone join in!
posted by user92371 at 2:41 PM on April 1, 2005

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