BEAVER, Pa. – We had driven several times into Beaver, Pa., past a gasoline station that half-resembles a fast-food restaurant that rivaled McDonald's in the 1960s and 1970s.
The next time we are here, I want to stop and take a photograph of the odd little business along State Street, I kept telling a friend, who chauffeurs us around this county seat north of Pittsburgh.
"It looks link a Winkys," I said last December, before we attended the crowded Christmas light-up festivities in this downtown, driving past the place yet another time.
Finally, we stop today, and I walk up to the attendant and ask, "Did this used to be a Winkys?"
"I don't know," answered the guy, who is too young to have remembered the kooky burger chain before looking at me oddly for snapping the above photo.
There used to be one of these restaurants in Charleroi, Pa., near our home in the Monongahela River Valley, and it became hugely popular because hamburgers sold there for 15 cents apiece. One of my uncles with six kids loved the place because he could feed his entire family there for under two bucks. The building since has been demolished.
Back at the house today, we search Google images for Winkys and, sure enough, this gas station fits the description. But, the chain's signature center roof peak is missing from this building.
This mystery is unsolved.
Jim McKevitt, manager of the former Charleroi Winkys on Route 88, far left, is shown inside the restaurant chain that once rivaled McDonald's. (Doris Lancaster photo)