Pfister’s Drive-in

Missourian photographer Fred Lynch and I have been searching like crazy for photos of Pfisters. He came up with some in his Jan. 11, 2009, f/8 and Be There blog.

This is the first one I’ve been able to find. This single shot was on the end of a roll of undated pictures I had taken of the SEMO football team working out on a trampoline. It’s definitely Pfisters because of its round shape, the ordering speakers and the  “HERO” sign in the far upper left.

Hero sandwiches were the signature specialties at Pfisters. The guy behind the wheel ordering looks a little like Tom Holt, but I won’t swear to it. Anybody else want to make a guess?

I can’t quite read the menu

I tried to enlarge and enhance the menu in the photo, but I can’t do the magic that you see on Bones where they take a fuzzy picture with half the pieces missing and have it suddenly appear razor sharp.

I can make out that Reuben Sandwiches were available. You could wash them down with a Hawaiian Cooler for 20 cents or an Ice Cream Soda for a quarter. A chocolate milk was 10 or 25 cents, depending on size.

Click on the picture to make it larger. Maybe your eyes are better than mine.

I hope to stumble across more pictures of the drive-in.

Weekend nights saw an endless stream of traffic cruising between Pfisters and Wimpy’s. I documented the Wimpy’s piece a couple of days ago.

A Chinese restaurant replaced Pfisters

30 Replies to “Pfister’s Drive-in”

  1. No Hero or Reuben sandwiches for me. I always had the Mighty Caesar… their version of a meatball sub… with limeade. Yum!

  2. Can’t read the menu (maybe you should have used Pan-X instead of Tri-X) but O can read the Stag sign in the upper right corner.

  3. Bill,

    I could count on you to see the Stag sign.

    Don’t knock the fuzzy menu. This was on the tail end of a roll that I had a paying assignment on. Given a choice of leaving the roll blank or shooting some random picture, I usually opted for the random picture.

    I’ll have to look at what the program is using for a time stamp. I don’t know if it’s in the WordPress template or it grabs it from the server.

  4. We splurged on special occasions & had the Pfister’s Hawaiian Pig on a Stick…baby pork ribs on a bamboo skewer with Pineapple chunks in between…served with a full size moist cloth napkin…quite exotic & fancy eating for fast food!

    I remember so well Mr. Pfister such a distinquished gentleman of the highest integrity…he would personally come to your car to apologise for having to raise prices, order taking longer than usual, anything he thought was a reflection on his establishment bearing his name…a super nice person!

    thanks again for the memories…

  5. I worked at Pfister’s Drive Inn my sophomore and junior year 1958 & 1959. In my senior year I worked at the esquire theater. I went to school in the morning’s and worked half a day and got credit for it. It was called Cooperative Occupational Education and my teacher was Earlie Carter.
    I have looked through all my old pictures but can’t find one about Pfister’s Drive Inn. Sorry that I couldn’t find a picture but you have brought back a lot of memories..
    Thank you for the memories
    Nancy Skinner (Seabaaugh class 1960)

    1. Hi Nancy,
      My name is Walter Holman (Lewis) I worked at the drive-in also. I’m very bad on my memory of the time I was very young 14 started working.
      You may remember Mr Miller the manager and later the owner. There was lady named who was also a manager, Ms Ellie she had a son named Gene. There was a cook named Ms Poly she had a 57 Chevy the really pretty version. I would really like to talk to you I joined the Marine Corps in 1964 and left Cape I lost tract of all the people. At the time I was there I was the only Black kid there. I also worked across the parking lot at Joe’s Brick Oven that belonged to the owners of Pfisters Drive-in
      Thanks for any information you may have.
      You can contact me direct by email:

  6. I remember a lot of drag Races were set up at Pfisters in the back parking section and that was from 70 to 77. What we used to do was go around Pfisters and then make a right back down Broadway and as you turned out floor your vehicle and see how much rubber you could lay (if you had a hot rod) there was a lot of memories for me there.

  7. I remember Pfister’s from my 1965-1969 days at Southeast Missouri College (it was not Univ then), but I don’t remember specifics of the menu. There was an entry in recent SOUTHEAST MISSOURIAN newspaper by someone who was wanting to find out the combination of cheeses used on the Pfister’s sandwiches. Would you know what those were? I am curious. I am happy to find the photos and comments you provided via web.

  8. I passed through the area one time, in 1967. I stopped at Pfister’s for lunch. I had the onion rings and I don’t know what else , probably a burger. But I never forgot those big,thick, wide, rings, and its now 44 years later. I’ve never found better. Thanks for the memory.

  9. I grew up in Cape and remember Pfisters well along with Wimpys ans the Starlite Drive-In What a gas. I would really like to see a photo of the original building. It was a very cool looking burger joint. Hope someone out there has one to share.

  10. I would go there with friends on the rare occasion I was allowed to leave school for lunch. I always had the hotdog with sauerkraut and onions. Everyone sure knew I had been there, after the onions. We always made the loop around the building on Sunday afternoon when cruising Broadway.

  11. I too fondly remember Pfister’s. I loved their cheese on half a sub roll. Does anyone know the chesse(s) that were used on this? (Class of ’57, College High School)

    1. I was raised in Anna,Il, my parents would go there on a Friday night, I remember that cheese roll well, I must have been under 8 years old in those days, that was all I would order when we went there…

    2. I can’t forget the pimento cheese toasted on an open faced sub.
      I had my first work place accident grinding the cheese. Just so you know we had to throw out that batch of cheese. Thanks for the memories.

  12. Would you have a pic in the evening or night with the lights of Pfisters. I am writing a book and would like to have permission to include a pic that you may have describing Broadway in the 70’s. Its a grouping of short stories (1800 words each) and this is one of them.

    My E-mail is above.

    Don Beussink

  13. I remember the Saucy Dog…would love to have that slaw recipe..I ate lunch there many days while in college 61-62

    1. We loved the “Saucy Dog” and still make our version at home from time to time. Mustard, Catsup, dices onions mixed together on a split hot dog. We also liked the pimento cheese on a bun. I had one of each in the fall of 1964 while in my car, listening to the final of the St. Louis Cardinals winning the National League after a huge collapse by the Phillies.

  14. Graduated from SEMO in 1970
    For whatever reason the Pfister Drive In popped into my head this evening .. strange flashback ! I also remember a pit bbq place ….had yummy pork sandwiches on toast .. can’t remember the name but I think it had a stop sign for the oven door
    And .. I remember the New Orleans
    Just a stroll down memory lane .. happy thoughts
    Glad I found your web page .. thanks !!

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