Photo courtesy of Joyce Kasemodel
Escanaba’s very first drive-in restaurant? For two summers, Emil and Edith Kallio, parents of parents or Joyce Kasemodel of Escanaba, owned a one-room restaurant, which was located right where Carne’s Gas Station Car Wash is now. This was Escanaba’s first drive-in restaurant on Ludington Street. Well, it wasn’t quite a drive-in restaurant. Patrons had to park and get out of their cars and sit on a high stool and order their food. The Kallios next rented a building around the corner that had a bedroom and a toilet by the kitchen, and opened a restaurant and that was located right where Lincoln Center is now. When World War II started, they bought the Coney Island Restaurant which was in downtown Escanaba from a man who went into the Army. The family lived upstairs of that restaurant and the former Joyce Kallio started her waitress work when she was 13. The Kallios kept their restaurant businesses going by retiring and then coming back to Escanaba after their very first vacation and started from the basement up. They opened Kallio’s Fareway Dinette in Wells, which is now known as the Family Inn in Wells. People may remember the famous “band” above the jukebox in corner at left. The band was made of rubber and played every time someone put money in the jukebox.