Lees Drive Inn / A & W Drive Inn
Texarkana, Arkansas
1010 East 9th Street

Painting by Dean Lynn (Class of 56)

One of our favorite hangouts in the 50's and 60's. If we made too many circles around the parking lot, 
Big Mary would run us off or call the law!  (Big Mary was Mary Lou Oliver Burleson , mother of Jimmy Oliver)
Elvis came to Lees during a concert visit in 58/59

Above photo was donated by Wayne Adcock (Class of 56)

 CHARCOS Drive In - New Boston Rd.







1972 Yearbook

Following Comments from Hogalumni Facebook----- Add comments Here also..........

Ollie N. Bell (46, THS) May 15, 2010
Small world. Lee's dirvein. In 1948 I was a student at U of A in Architecture. Bill Claughton was in Architecture. His father, A Texarkana contractor was hired by Lee Davis to build a drivein from a pic he had taken in California. Russell Claughton hired me to figure out how to construct the sloping walls and frame for the glass windows. Bill told him I could do it. Piece of cake.
Davis was pleased. I had a many year relationship with Lee Davis and son, Charles Lee Davis. As their Architect I designed the Charcoal Broilers in Dallas, Denton and two in Texarkana. Re designed the Coffee Cup Restaurant.
I think it would be fun to try to build Lee's Drivein from Dean Lynn's art work. Ha.
Hilda Robken Owen at 8:34am June 14
I used to live behind Lacy's at 914 Garland. Still miss that place. Great memories!!
Joy Cobb at 8:56am June 14
yes...I had some good memories there too...great fun
Hilda Robken Owen at 9:29am June 14
Tabletop jukeboxes ..... good home-cooked food.
James Randy Coker at 10:22am June 14
I remember Lee's drive Inn but it had aready been closed. I also remember going to Lacy's as a kid and having cold chocolate milk. If i remember correctly, my grandmother was a waitress there.
Cathy Brown Smith at 11:21am June 14
I vaguely remember the tabletop juke boxes...have better memory of A&W Drive-In...a night without cruisin' A&W...
Kathy Cleghorn Parrott at 12:21pm June 14
I remember the A&W too....That big frosty mug of root beer....yum!!
Beth White Carlton at 1:02pm June 14
College Hill folks remember the Charcoil Broiler!!
James Randy Coker at 1:04pm June 14
you could smell the buger's cooking for miles around the Charcoil Broiler!!
Bob Harvey at 1:16pm June 14
Charcoil Broiler? Chicken Fried Steaks! Best around!
Cathy Brown Smith at 1:28pm June 14
Best. Chicken Fried Steaks. Ever. I am thinking that Lee's Catfish in Texarkana is run by the son of the guy who had the charcoil broiler and they use the same recipe for the chicken fried steaks. Or I could be delusional and dreamed this. Will check into.
Hilda Robken Owen at 2:11pm June 14
I must've gotten around because I remember Charcoal Broiler on CH, too.... Yummy cf steaks. A&W rootbeer, crusin' down Hickory , had to circle both A&W's...right?? Went to Lee's as a kid, but it closed before I hit the road as a teenager. Fun going down memory lane!!
Bob Harvey at 2:14pm June 14
crusin' around, makes me miss my ole '57 chevy!
Hilda Robken Owen at 2:18pm June 14
I had a tan VW Bug with pink daisy decals on it!!
Patricia Lieb at 4:24pm June 14
Lacy's sold beer...
Cathy Brown Smith at 5:51pm June 14
In the 70's...after you cruised A&W you then had to go park at the 7-11 parking lot beside Charcoal Broiler.
Cathy Brown Smith at 5:52pm June 14
That's where I met Worthless Husband #1.
Jennifer Meek Smith at 12:26am June 15
Oh, Deborah....Yes.. I so want a cutlet sandwich right now with those wonderful fries! And Speros..(owned by Gus Spero).... their fried oysters were the absolute best, with their special in house salad dressing! There was a Charcoal Broiler on College Hill, too, which had the best foods! Red Barn....piano bar! Jefferson Coffee Shop..... wow..... ... Read MoreAnd the LaCasa Rosa!! I think it's still there!! AAAhhhhh. the memories! I didn't know how much fun I was having until I became an adult and missed it so much! Hope you and yours are good.....
Chet Daniel at 6:32am June 15
I remember buying hot bread about midnight at the bakery on Stateline and taking the bread to Lee's to get a vanilla Dr. Pepper to go with it. Hit me easy I'm full of Butter-nut bread!
Patricia Lieb at 9:18am June 15
Remember the Razorback drive in?
Cathy Brown Smith at 9:45am June 15
I remember getting hot bread at Butternut Bakery on State Line. Was it Sharkey's Pizza on 9th? In the old Frank's Steak House bldg??? AND....does anyone have the recipe for Spero's house dressing??
Chet Daniel at 11:23am June 15
How about the Polar Bear on E. 9th with the hubcap burgers for a quarter! After reading all these food comments I think
I'll take a Lipitor.
Cathy Brown Smith at 12:09pm June 15
You can still go to Guy's Texas Burger and get a Texas Burger, an Orange Drink and peanuts. The burger's not as big as it used to be but the Orange Drink and peanuts are the same. 
Chet Daniel at 12:15pm June 15
An old black gentleman had a push cart and sold tamalies. They said the tamalies were made out of road kill, but they tasted 
like chicken to me. A lot of things tastes like chicken to me. 
Ginger Patterson at 12:22pm June 15
I see several of my old friends on here. Ginger Porterfield AHS class of '65. What great food memories. I'm trying to diet, 
you're killing me!
Estelle Shipp (Shreveport, LA) wrote at 12:40pm
Lee's Drive In, Was HEAVEN--Wishing it was back with us
Don Pryor (Phoenix, AZ) wrote at 12:25pm
Ahhh yes, the 'LOOP': Lee's Drive Inn, A&W Root Beer, then over to another drive in on the Texas side that I have long since 
forgotten the name of. Anyone remember?
James T. Humphrey (Shreveport, LA) wrote at 7:08am
I think my parents met here
Brenda Davis Wooten (Shreveport, LA) wrote at 9:36pm yesterday
I so remember walking there with my sisters when I was a child...good memories.
Debbie Nicholas (Shreveport, LA) wrote at 8:23pm yesterday
My parents went there on dates.
Fred Gibbons at 4:07pm June 15
Brenda Jackson Jeans (Longview / Tyler, TX) wrote at 8:03pm
CHARCO's-------on New Boston Rd-----------Ark A&W, nearly killed Jennie's moms car there !!!!!!!!!
Susan Spears Parsons wrote at 7:30pm
This is where my in-laws went on their first date!!! My mom and dad also went there but their first date was at guys!
 J.d. Elkins
The Polar Bear on East 9th was a good place back in the day
Dan Mosley
I remember the Polar Bear. It was about a block down the street and across the street from my family's grocery store.
 Patricia English
i remember that i think it is still standing not sure if its still open or not or what its called now
 Melissa Smith
I remember Sharkeys Pizza! How about the little plastic monkeys that they would put on the cups at the Sonic? I miss those...:(
 Patricia English
o yea i remember both of the a & w of coarse i wasnt old enough to cruise down there but my brothers did lol
 Patti Oates Hadaway
GREAT slushies at A & W !
 Hilda Robken Owen
Back in our day we cruised between the A&W on Hickory and the A&W on Stateline. There was a service station at 24th and Stateline that everyone would "frequent" to use the bathroom. Someone named it Blue Water because the toilet bowl had blue water. :-) Just another memory for the memory books.
 Patricia English
A & W was right on the corner of 7th and hickory
 Mary Owen Bunch
A&W Root Beer stands! I remember them all!
 Sandra Aikman
Does anyone remember Guy's Orange Juice Stand? Near State Line. I loved their ice cold orange drink and the little cups of salted peanuts that came with it.
Terry wrote at 7:56pm yesterday
Lees, jefferson Coffee Shop, Razorback, Cutlet House both A&W's, Anybody remember the Feista?. Joy Drive Inn, Red River Drive Inn, Anns .......Terry Gaither
Cindy wrote at 8:35pm yesterday
I remember riding around the TX A&W, turning down 24th street to Hickory and driving around the Ark A&W. Don't forget Razorback Drive-In. The Cutlet House, mmmmm, those cutlets were delicious!!!! Reading all of these names REALLY brought back memories!!! Almost forgot the Fiesta!!!
Thad wrote at 9:56pm yesterday
also.... how about Harold's Pizza?.... from 7th-9th street area (KFC now?), to State Line (Sherwin Williams now?), then to ole Kmart parking lot area (who knows whats there now... lol)
Geno wrote at 6:57am
Shipley's Donut shop on State Line and The Subway pool hall
 Elton Hinshaw
Don't forget the Coffee Cup. Lee Davis owned it and Lee's. The Cutlet House! I had forgotten. How about Guy's--hot dogs, orange juice, and little thing of peanuts.
 Ginger Patterson
Didn't the Davis family also own the Coffee Cup across from Frank's Steakhouse and the Town House Restaurant at 9th & Hickory? The Town House had the BEST fried chicken and amazing home made banana cream pie. But folks, while we're walking down calorie lane, we can't leave out Bryce's Cafeteria.
Rebecca Rapport (Austin, TX) wrote at 7:07pm yesterday
Remember the Coffee Cup? Definitely remember Harold's Pizza and Charco's. I think Charco's had Kentucky Fried Chicken and Hamburger's of many different varieties. The parking lot was a lot like a theatre drive-in!! Am I having false memories? What about Guy's? Is Spiro's still there? Oh, memories of T-Town!
Jerry Stout (62) June 16th, 2009 at 08:16PM 
This era, do any of you remember 9 High on the corner of East and 7th(Ithink?) everything was price with a 9 at the end..who could ever forget the Jefferson Coffee Shop downtown..great chic fried steak and cream gravy..Frank the Greek fellow owned that one..also the old Mayflower coffee shop downtown..Do any of you remember the old Daily News Digest...daily .15 per week...
Wayne Beck (60) June 17, 2009 6AM
We drove through Lees (the 2nd time) on Haloween night in 1959 and we were loaded with Eggs. I had a sweater over my lap covering 2 dozen Eggs. Big Mary ran out and grabbed the window of the car and told Bill McGeHee (who was driving) to leave before she called the cops. Later we got caught face to face on a narrow street with another car load of Egg carrying guys (we got slaughtered) and Bill had to turn on the windshield wipers which didnt work out too well. He finally had to drive up in someones yard to get around the other car. We went straight to a car wash. A few months later, Bill's dad asked him...."wonder why the paint on my car is starting to peel off?"
Oliver Bonner (Huntsville / Decatur, AL) wrote at 12:41pm
Love both A&W's, Lees, Razorback, Charcos, and the Jefferson. And, no Charco's did not have KFC. KFC moved into Charcos on New Boston Rd after Charcos closed. Anybody remember the A&W that was on New Boston Rd across from the old Oaklawn Elem School? That was before the Safeway was even built in that area.
 Hilda Robken Owen
I loved the old Bryce's downtown. Remember the Coffee Cup, too. Loved Guy's.
 Estelle Shipp
Oh Yes~ Frank's Steak House- So good! And So was Spero's
Loved tpo slip down to the Grim Hotel and peer through the windows at the People Dancing , dressed so elegant! So wonderful sounds of music , people hustling and bustling Neat~ Sure would be wonderful to see it RESTORED!
 Estelle Shipp
Well how about the Bowling alley and skating Rink~ and The biggie THE SATURDAY NIGHT MID_NIGHT SHOW????
Popcorn from Newberry's and Kresses' Ah Gee And THE RAZORBACK DRIVE INN ACROSS from the steak house? Made wonderful hamburgers
 Patricia English
i remember hearing about kresses and newberrys as i was growing up i remember walkin downtown with my mom and eating at the woolworth down there i was young and loved sitting on the stools and i know someone who has the recipe for the speros dressing
 Hilda Robken Owen
Wish I had it. If you get it...please post it. Remember Woolworths too. Anyone remember Wellworths. It is still open, I think!!
 Estelle Shipp
I remember Wooloworth's also, But gee never get that far on the ole Broad street anymore!
Debbie Hannibal (Longview / Tyler, TX) wrote at 8:26pm yesterday
My mother was just talking about Lee's drive in today, she said it was on Hwy 82 where Taco Tico is now. Her and her friends use to go there and hang out.
Jeff Davis (Little Rock, AR) wrote at 12:47am
This was my family's restaurant and my Dad ran it. How could I not join this group.
Albert Anderson (Shreveport, LA) wrote at 9:02pm
what about a cutlet sandwich from FRANKS across from the razorback. yuuuum.
Albert Anderson (Shreveport, LA) wrote at 9:23pm
I met my wife, Donna, at the Pines.........remember.... ..it is still here as the Electric Cowboy. Still looks the same. That was 42 years ago.
"I am Albert's wife and I worked at Charco's in 1966. We did have kfc chicken, the secret recipe was shipped to us in secret packages. We didn't even know what we was dipping the chicken in and then deep frying. You drove up and ordered and then drove thru the drivethru to pick up your order. Every teen in Texarkana was there. The route...charcos, A&W and Lee's............over and over"
Kathy Huber Chandler; June 18th, 2009 at 10:05PM 
Remember driving around the A & W with the person driving ducked down and the person in the passenger seat doing the steering so that It looked like NO ONE was driving the car!!! Remember Tommy & Rodney ? LOL or Jeff beating the drums on the dash board, luck we had a dash left so many songs were pounded on that dash board!!
Elizabeth Williams Money (1976) June 21st, 2009 at 07:40AM 
When I was in grade school, my mom worked at the A&W and we would get the homemade ice cream and all the root beer we wanted! The root beer floats were great too!
 Estelle Shipp
Rawleigh Burger was on new boston road was it not!??
Now a Chinese place-Raw;leighs' was also a great one and good food and lots of people!!
John Wittu (Dallas / Fort Worth, TX) wrote at 11:07am
I can still taste the cherry phosphate at Lee's and the frito pie at Charco's!!! Miss those days.
Joe Grant (1972) June 24th, 2009 at 02:51PM 
When I was 2-10 yrs old our house was at 9th and Grand. My dad's gas station on 9th St. had the airplane on the roof that faced Lee's Drive-in across the street. I could see Lee's out my bedroom window, no A/C, so every night the windows were open, and I feared the loud teenagers that hung out there! And the Cutlet House was a couple doors down, I can taste those delicious cutlet sandwiches now! JG
Alan Jones (Huntsville / Decatur, AL) wrote at 10:51am yesterday
My Dad tells me Elvis took him and Cheesy Nelson to Lee's after Elvis's concert to show appreciation for Cheesy entertaining the crowd with his Elvis impersonation while Elvis was late for the concert-true story! We used to eat at Lee's when I was a kid. It seemed like it took forever to get food. waiting outside in that hot Texarkana summer weather ,but I can still smell it!
Jimmy Oliver (July 7, 2009)
I really enjoyed the article on all the old places in Texarkana. Gosh where has all the time gone and all those good places with it. I remember Charles Lee Davis owned Lees, the Coffee Cup, the town House and maybe more. Who owned the Jefferson Coffee shop downtown on the very front street. The reason I remember Lees drive Inn so well my mother worked there. She is the one referred to as Big Mary. She loved all those kids that hung out at Lees. I would come and hang out at her work in the fiftys. I think It closed like two oclock in the morning. I also Sorry to ramble on but i really enjoyed the message and it brought back good memories when time semed better. Thanks, Jimmy Oliver
Sally Edstrom (July 7, 2009)
"OOOOO, I remember Lee's. The had an order of fries that was just swimming in grease. They were to die for!!!"
Jimmy Oliver (July 09, 2009)
When Elvis was in town and performed at the Auditorium next to where Zapatas is now he would come to Lees after the show and park his Caddy out there under the awnings and kids would just swarm him. (1958/1959) I also was wondering who owned the Jefferson coffee cup down by the train station. They had the best veal cutlets in town.
Liz Money (July 12, 2009)
My mom worked at A&W for a short while. I remember their homemade ice cream, root beer and whistle burgers! Oh yeah, also lunch time with the shades on checking everybody out
Sally Edstrom (July 12, 2009)
Remember Captain Hamburger and Sgt. French Fry? They always patrolled to make sure everyone was ordering something and that you stayed in your cars. That was a thankless job!!
Bob Bocox (75), July 21st, 2009 
Does anybody know the recipe for the yellow/orangeish gravy for the chicken fried steaks at the charcoal broiler?? There's nothing like that in Calif
James Randy Coker, Aug 14th, 2009
When my family moved to Texarkana, i was 8 or 9 yrs old. We lived right next door to the A&W. I remember on friday and saturday nights I would watch out my bedroom window thinking to my self, I can't wait to be just like them. The high school kids always hanging out there. This was in the mid 70's and by the time that i was of age it was closed.
Kristin Davis Crouch, Aug 23, 2009
this is really cool to see! Lee Davis that owned Lees was my grandfather, my dad worked there growing up and then opened up The Charcoal Broilers! Thanks for this
Debby Curry Ishee (Class of 69), Sept 18, 2009
My first job was at the Charcoal Broiler on the Arkansas side, Mr. Davis was my first boss. I am going to the 40 year Texas High Reunion this weekend...looking for old pictures of the A & W's!
Kenneth Smith (Class of 65) Jan 30, 2010
I wonder how many reading this will admit to slipping off with friends from the usual hangouts down south to the clubs along the Bossier Strip where the legal age to imbibe was 18, and most places didn't check ID's? Those live bands and the sweet soul music were addictive in the 60's!
Christine Tucker Duncan (Class of 61) February 15th, 2010 
I worked at Lee's Drive Inn, must have been 1959-1960.. Jetti York and I worked there together, some of you will remember Jetti... yeah, you will!... and Mother Mary, yes, remember her... the ruler! Fantastic memories, my first job..rate of pay, I am not sure, either $.25 or $.50 an hour and that is alot of difference... thinking it was the $.25... tips were very important...
Delanna Shipp Minter (Class of 83) Mar 10, 2010
found the recipe for Spero's dressing lol enjoyed reading all the comments. went on here to find pics of my mom. she graduated in 58. her name was Dorothy Brantley? thanks ...Spero's Dressing: 1 large jar of mayonnaise, 1 small onion, 2 boiled eggs, 1 T paprika, 1 T garlic powder. Place all ingredients in a blender and puree to desired consistency.
Sherry Roberts-Hicks (Class of 71) April 27, 2010
How I do remember the A&W and how embarrassing I was the night my tail pipe fell off my car in front of this place. Never will forget that!!
Grace Shoemaker Cardwell (1951) May 16, 2010
Jimmy Oliver asked who owned the Jefferson Coffee Shop. The Asimos family owned it and Ted Asimos worked there. Also, La Casa Rosa closed a couple of weeks ago. Of course, I think that Mrs. Williams who owned the Cutlet House had the BEST cutlet burgers in the world. The Hush Puppy out on Hwy 71N had great catfish fillets w/all the trimmings.
Danny Joe Lee (1957) May 16, 2010
Thanks so very much for the "great" food memories everyone. The funny thing is that while several mention the "Coffee Cup," I did not see any reference to the little cup of honey they always served with their Southern Fried Chicken, still about the very best I've eaten in any restaurant--nothing will ever beat "home cookin,"-- and while I'm at it, NOTHING beats this website for keeping all of us filled, not only with thoughts of wonderful Texarkana food, but so many fond memories of growing up in such a GREAT town!--please forgive the shouting.
btw, I really appreciate the recipe for Speros Salad Dressing--another "one of a kind," to come out of the town I will ALWAYS love!
Johnny Yarberry (1961) Sept 18, 2010
Sue Taylor Winchell (1963) Jan 19, 2011
Came across this by accident. Pleasant surprise!! Drank a lot of Vanilla Dr. Peppers at Lee's. Still drink them.... Next door - Cutlet House. Best of the best. Sometimes I would sit on the porch of my sisters house on 9th. next to her flower shop and watch all the traffic drive thru Lee's. Those were the days!
JoAnn Garland Scarborough (1964) May 9, 2011
Someone asked who owned Jefferson Coffee Shop. My grandmother worked there for 27 yrs. The owners were Ted and Ernie Asmos. I use to go to Lee's all the time, that was the place to be against the wall. Then A&W root beer. Love thinking about old times. I would love to have a cutlet with that ridge of crust outside the bun, good food.
Herbert Whiseant (1961) July 19, 2011
Hot rod's would back up against the wall and leave black sut marks from the exhaust.Then if you stayed long enought and payed attention before they closed there would be a drag race challenged.I remember the '62 chevy impala 409 the 426 hemi the 426 wedge the 389 tri power pontiac the 427 fords BRING IT ON.What great memories.
Wayne Beck (1960) March 20, 2012
Thanks to Jim Stacks for the photos of the Strand Theater and Guys Orange.....
Sharon Shipp Mikesell (1971) May 16, 2012
I have the recipe for Spero's House Dressing: 1~32 oz. jar Kraft Mayonnaise (no substitutes), 1 ~ small onion, 2 ~ hard boiled eggs, 1 ~ Tblspoon paprika, 1 ~ Tblspoon garlic powder....Place all ingredients in blender. (Peel onion & quarter) Blend to desired consistency. Store in airtight container in fridge. I use the empty Mayo jar as well as smaller canning jar. Now if anyone has the recipe for their baklava...yummo! Love to have it! My uncle, Alva Cloud Jr. was part owner of a restaurant downtown somewhere. I can't remember address or the name. I'll have to ask my aunt. Her name is Martha (Senter) Cloud. Maybe some of you might know her. My mom & dad took me & my brother to Spero's sometimes once a week. Spero's & Pappas' were friends of theirs. btw...I make their dressing all the time, it doesn't last long here either...lol. Nothing like their dressing on the Captains Wafers, except the baklava in the glass case up front!! My dad, Lloyd Sherman Shipp took me & my brother to Cutlet House all the time. Those breaded veal cutlets were amazingly good! I've never forgotten them. It was next door to where Taco Tico is/was! I think it's a bar now or was.
Royce Taylor 1964 (Alhambra,CA)
Although my family moved from Texarkana in 1962, I remember Lees Drive In and the Charcoal Broiler on State Line ave.Wow,what memories and so very long ago. Hello to all my ex class mates from Texas High.

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