You Gotta Eat: Lou's Drive-In serves 60 years of business

By Joe Bennett

July 25, 2013 Updated Jul 25, 2013 at 10:35 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Since it opened in 1953, Lou's Drive-In has been owned by the same family, under the same sign on the same street, serving almost all of the same foods.

"People say nothing has changed, you know, in those 60 years," said employee Vickie Couri.

The signature homemade root beer and the sandwiches at Lou's keep bringing back like long-time regulars Marcie Gordon and Dee Brauer.

"Gosh we've been coming here since our kids were tiny,” Gordon said to her friend and lunch date. “It’s the consistency and the friendliness and the cleanliness."

"They're so clean,” Brauer agrees, “and of course I knew Lou personally and we miss him."

Doug Smith had a barbecue basket and two hot dogs with a root beer, which he upgraded to a large.

Even that wasn't enough, so he paid a couple extra dollars for a refill.

I ordered a double cheeseburger basket, but I wish I would have ordered one of those chili cheese dogs I've heard so much about.

I too upgraded to a large root beer, which tastes like liquefied root beer candy.

For dessert, Doug had a chocolate and pineapple sundae and I had a perfect chocolate malt to wash down my meal.

For our lunches we paid $18.63 plus $5.73 for dessert, and the $2 for Doug's refill.

"It's just a fun place,” said Couri. “You know, if you're in an office and you work all day, then you can come here and just enjoy the weather, get away from the work."

Lou's Drive-In is located at 4229 North Knoxville Avenue in Peoria.

They are open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. all week.