Friday, December 9, 2016

Casey’s Drive-in Grand Opening – December 1968

Forty-eight years ago this month, a new fast food drive-in “stepped up to the plate” to take on McDonald’s and Sandy’s on the west side of Lorain.

As seen in the full-page ad above which ran in the Journal on December 13, 1968, Casey’s Drive-in was that rookie hamburger chain. It celebrated the Grand Opening of its West 21st Street location on December 14 and 15, 1968.

It would later be joined by another location in Lorain on Route 254, as well as outlets in Vermilion, Elyria, Rocky River and North Royalton.
Drawing on the 1888 baseball poem "Casey at the Bat" for its theme, Casey’s Drive-in had a great old time ballplayer advertising mascot. The restaurant also had a real, live Casey to make personal appearances (as noted in the above Grand Opening ad). This real Casey also appeared in some ads in place of the cartoon mascot, such as this late 1960s ad from the Elyria phone book.
Casey’s used its baseball theme to good marketing advantage, sometimes employing personal appearances by Cleveland Indians players (which I wrote about here).
Today, the largely forgotten restaurant chain's West 21st Street location in Lorain is home to the popular Pine Garden Chinese-American Restaurant.

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