Article and photos by Savanah Mandeville
Randy’s Drive In is one of those places you can tell has good food just by looking at it.
The restaurant, located at 1201 E. Pennell in Carl Junction, has all the hallmarks of good, all-American fare. From the retro sign to the string of pickup trucks in the parking lot, you know right away this is a little family-owned drive-in that has stood the test of time while trendier eateries have come and gone.
Owner Randy Roy can vouch for that. It’s not too often you see a restaurant’s namesake working the grill, but that’s Randy for you. He works right alongside his staff and knows most of his customers by name. Randy’s Drive In is a staple of Carl Junction and a popular gathering place for regulars of all ages.
“This was the original Babe’s, opened in 1973,” he said. “We’ve had it since 1992.”
He said the menu hasn’t changed much in the last 27 years, or for that matter, the last 46 years, and that’s probably the reason why it’s going strong as ever. One addition, though, is the drive-thru window, giving Randy’s the old-time atmosphere of a drive-in with the modern convenience of fast food.
“People love the classics and have their all-time favorites,” he said. “You know what you’re going to get when you visit.”
Some of those favorites are the foot-long chili cheese dog, the taco salad, the chicken dinner, the catfish dinner, and, in my opinion, the best onion rings ever.
Randy’s Drive In offers different specials daily, but you can count on the ultra-popular double-cheeseburger and fries to be on special every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Randy’s Drive In is a huge supporter of Carl Junction schools with its red walls bedecked with bulldogs and photos of CJ sports teams. The famous Bulldog Shake is another longtime customer favorite.
The Bulldog Shake is part of an extensive ice-cream menu to satisfy your sweet tooth including just about every flavor you can think of in shakes, malts, sundaes and mixes. Of course, you can’t go wrong with a good old hot fudge sundae or banana split!
For some scrumptious comfort food and a slice of Carl Junction history, cruise up to Randy’s Drive In! You won’t leave hungry!