Do you remember Shoney's restaurant?

The Legacy Lives On: Exploring the History of the Former Shoney’s Restaurant

For decades, Shoney’s Restaurant has held a special place in the hearts of many diners across the United States. From its humble beginnings to its rise as a beloved family-friendly chain, Shoney’s has left an indelible mark on the American dining landscape. In this blog post, we delve into the rich history of the former Shoney’s Restaurant, celebrating its legacy and reminiscing about the good times shared within its walls.

  1. The Early Days: Shoney’s was founded in 1947 by Alex Schoenbaum in Charleston, West Virginia. Initially named “Parkette Drive-In,” it began as a small drive-in restaurant serving classic American fare, including burgers, milkshakes, and hot dogs. The restaurant’s popularity grew rapidly, paving the way for expansion and the birth of the iconic Shoney’s brand.

  2. The Shoney’s Era: In 1956, the Parkette Drive-In was renamed Shoney’s, a nod to Schoenbaum’s nickname. With a commitment to quality, value, and hospitality, Shoney’s quickly gained a reputation for its signature dishes, such as the All-American burger and the famous Shoney’s Strawberry Pie. The restaurant chain became known for its family-friendly atmosphere, offering affordable meals that catered to diverse tastes.

  3. Nationwide Expansion: As the demand for Shoney’s grew, the restaurant chain embarked on an ambitious expansion plan, opening locations throughout the United States. By the 1980s, Shoney’s had become a household name, with over 1,300 restaurants across the country. Its distinctive Big Boy mascot and the iconic “Shoney’s Inn” lodging concept further solidified its presence in the hospitality industry.

  4. Community Involvement and Philanthropy: Throughout its history, Shoney’s placed a strong emphasis on community involvement and philanthropy. The restaurant chain actively supported charitable causes, including the Shoney’s 5K Family Fun Run, which raised funds for local organizations. Shoney’s also established the Shoney’s Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a partnership that positively impacted the lives of countless children and teenagers.

  5. Evolving with the Times: As the dining landscape evolved, Shoney’s adapted to changing consumer preferences. The restaurant introduced healthier menu options, expanded its salad bar offerings, and embraced new culinary trends while retaining its commitment to hearty, comforting classics.

  6. Legacy and Transformation: While the former Shoney’s Restaurants are no longer as prevalent as they once were, the memories and legacy of this iconic chain continue to endure. Many former Shoney’s locations have been repurposed and transformed into new establishments, carrying on the tradition of providing memorable dining experiences.

The Rise & Fall of Shoney's Restaurant

Shoney's restaurants was Founded

Shoney's was founded in 1947 by Alex Schoenbaum in Charleston, West Virginia. Starting as the Parkette Drive-In, it quickly gained popularity for its classic American fare and hospitable atmosphere. Over the years, Shoney's grew into a beloved restaurant chain, leaving a lasting legacy in the hearts of diners across the United States.

The End of Shoney's restaurant

Once a beloved family-friendly chain, Shoney's Restaurant experienced a decline in recent years. With just 90 locations remaining in the United States as of May 18, 2023, it is worth exploring the factors that contributed to the downfall of this once-iconic establishment.

The former Shoney’s Restaurant holds a special place in the hearts of those who experienced its hospitality and enjoyed its delicious meals. From its humble beginnings to nationwide expansion, Shoney’s left an indelible mark on American dining culture. Though the restaurant landscape may have changed, the legacy of Shoney’s lives on, reminding us of the joy and camaraderie found within its walls.

Company's Peak Year


Peak Location Count


Company Website

Company Link



Click through the captivating gallery above to take a trip down memory lane and rediscover some of the most beloved yet forgotten restaurants that once defined an era. These iconic establishments were once the go-to spots, where friends and families gathered, creating cherished memories that still linger today. While they may be gone, they are never forgotten.

We believe in the power of collective knowledge, and that’s where you come in! If you have any information about these forgotten gems, we invite you to share your insights, anecdotes, and stories in the comments below. Your firsthand experiences can breathe new life into these fading tales and ignite conversations that celebrate their lasting impact.

Don’t hesitate to let us know if we missed one of your all-time favorites. We want to hear your stories and relive those moments that made these restaurants so special to you. Join the community and share your memories in the comments. Together, let’s keep the spirit of these nostalgic establishments alive and honor the places that once brought us together over delicious food and wonderful company.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments