Monday, October 19, 2009

The Millionaire Drive Inn in Fort William, Ontario 1958...

Many a Friday and Saturday nights were spent parked under the car port at the Millionaire Drive Inn in my '49 Chevy with my girl friend at my side, chompin' down on some great burgers, onion rings and that cold Sno-Cap Root beer.....take me back!!!LOL
If you were a car-hop at the Millionaire then, I'd like to hear from you!!
The Columbia Grill photos.

Many thanks to Gary Petlow for sending me these incredible photos of our Millionaire Drive Inn that was built in about 1958 by his father Mike. Mike Petlow and his wife Jenny were owner operators of one of the most exciting drive-in restaurants to come to Thunder Bay(formerly Fort William), Ontario at that time.
These photos are an addition to a post I did back in July called May Street and Southern...from the Royal Fort to the DQ. You can click here to see that post or scroll down.
Before the Millionaire was built, the Petlow's ran the well known Columbia Grill on 123 S. May Street, with great success(photos of that restaurant are included here thanks to Gary again), and Jenny's parents, the Syroids had also ran the T&M Grill on the corner of Simpson and Leith St.
My father drank many cups of coffee and had many meals at the T&M, as it became the mainstay for all the Kam Motors Limited employees at that time.
As Gary stated, "When the circus came to town, dad did a promotional shot with the Shriners at the Millionaire. Dad was president of the Lakehead Shrine club and is the one NOT wearing a fez."
The photo with the giant chef, Sno-Cap Root Beer and the hamburger was the grand opening and Mike Petlow is shown on the far right with the chef's hat on.
The other photos show the car port(photo taken from May Street) and the cars under the port, both taken towards May Street.
The photos at the end show a before picture of where the Columbia Grill would be located on May Street(formerly Ralph Colisimo Shoe Repair) can also see the old city hall in the background. This photo was taken in 1950. The next photo shows the Columbia grill as it was for many years before it finally became Norma Jeans restaurant and is presently closed.
The last two photos show a news clipping of the Columbia taken in 1961 at their 10th anniversary. Their famous "Chicken in the Rough" dinner was only $1.10, and my Millionaire Drive Inn mug which I was very lucky to find.
Thanks once more to Gary for the great memorios in photos.....Enjoy!!
Mike and Jenny still reside in California, both living a very active lifestyle...WOW!!
Be sure to click on the link above to see the whole post about the corner where the Millionaire was built. Click on photos to enlarge.
NOTE: Sadly Mike Petlow passed away on June 27th 2014...a well known and well loved man.  His obituary is as follows....please click on to enlarge.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My Dad who is still alive owned the Millionaire Drive inn on Maty's road, Winnipeg in the early 60's

he moved to NC uSA and started Zack's hamburgers at a location that used to operate as Bells Burgers that was started by Mr' Bell which started Taco Bell
Zack's is still open in Charlotte Nc,USA by the son
first time I googled the name and wow saw this sight