Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Drum **HALL OF FAME EATERY**


The Drum as it appeared in 1948

The Drum as it appeared in the 1980's


Early 1960's menu (thanks to Rick Fisher)

Original Drum neon sign

The Drum's logo and motto

1953 ad

1975 ad

The Drum shortly after closing (note the "Drum" rising in the center)

The current eatery has a raised patio which gives a great view of the "drum"


The Drum Restaurant was located at 1520 East Blvd. and was opened in 1948 by Wad Smith. When the restaurant was first built, it was round and decorated like a drum. The original set-up included a lunch counter, two tables, four booths, and car-hop curb service. In 1955, it was enlarged to include 15 booths and in 1961, 10 additional booths were added. Curb service continued until 1968. Over time with the enlarging of the restaurant, the original drum structure was built around and was only visible along the roof-line.

Wad's son, Larry, began working at The Drum in 1960, became manager in 1973, and ultimately took over all operations in 1976 when his dad retired.

The concept of The Drum changed very little over the years. Consistently offering home-style cooked meats and vegetables along with daily prepared pies. The menu also offered king mackerel and black bass caught by Wad himself.

The Drum would run for 47 years finally closing on June 28, 1995 after the lunch service. The building has housed several restaurants over the years of varying success. The one constant is the visible drum still rising above the restaurant---a forever symbol of old Charlotte at its finest.


3 comments:

  1. I always wondered why that building had a circular element on top. I figured it was there to screen the mechanical units but I couldn't figure out why it was circular. Now I know.

    Cool!

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  2. THE DRUM- "BEAT IT OVER TO THE DRUM" - DADDY AND I USED TO EAT THERE, LATE 1960S- WAS A GREAT PLACE TO EAT!!!, FABULOUS AMBIANCE, MAGNIFICENT "DOWN HOME COOKING"
    OUTSTANDING AND COURTEOUS SERVICE-
    YOUR PHOTOS AND OTHER ITEMS ARE GREATLY APPRECIATED, THINKING ABOUT THE DRUM REALLY BRINGS BACK SOME BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES-MY HOW TIMES PASSES- "THE BIRD OF TIME HAS BUT A SHORT WAYS TO FLY AND LO THE BIRD IS ON THE WING!!!"- IT SURE BELONGS IN THE - "HALL OF FAME EATERY"- JOHNNY C

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  3. I remember eating here as a kid with my parents many, many times in the late 50's and early 60's. I remember they had live lobsters in a tank when you first walked in. I had no idea then that people actually would eat them. I usually ordered a hot dog, but they had a special way of serving them. They would split the hot dog long ways down the middle and then cut those 2 pieces in half. They would then serve them on a hamburger bun instead of a hot dog bun. Loved going there.
    Mike S.

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