JB's Drive-in - 2501 8TH AV

 Print Listing Historical Name - Dog 'n' Suds Drive-in
Style - Other Style - Flat-roofed Commercial Structure
Built Year - 1964-65
State ID - 5WL4381

Description - This drive-in restaurant at 2501 8th Avenue is situated on the southwest corner of 8th Avenue and 25th street. A macadam parking lot surrounds the entire structure. Oriented to the north, toward 25th Street, the structure rests on a concrete foundation. The structure consists of a central core, containing the kitchen and dining room, with a canopied walkway across the front (north) elevation and extending east and west. A red-brick veneer clads most of the exterior walls. However, around the windows of the dining room is vertical wood siding. Windows are large, plate-glass, with brushed-aluminum frames. Those along the west elevation are protected beneath a heavy-gauge steel mesh. Doorways open on the north ends of the east and west elevations of the kitchen, which protrudes northward from the dining room to the west. Another doorway, on the west end of the north elevation, provides access to the dining room. All three doorways host plate-glass doors with brushed-aluminum frames. A carport/loading dock is located on the south end of the east elevation. Poured asphalt covers the flat and shed roof forms, which are covered in a variety of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment. The broadly overhanging eaves are boxed with red-painted metal fascia and white-painted metal soffit. The canopy over the walkway consists of a butterfly roof supported by V-shaped, red-painted, round metal supports. Channeled metal signage, with neon tube lighting, is anchored to the north edge of the canopy. The east and west signs read "ROOT BEER" while the center sign proclaims "JBs DRIVE IN." The center sign is mounted on a sheet of white-painted plywood. Lining the covered walkway and the north edge of the parking lot are 48, interior-illuminated menus/carhop call stations.

Historical Background - In October 1909, the Colorado Mortgage and Investment Company and J.M.B. Petrikin platted the First Addition to Arlington Park, which consisted of fifteen city blocks located south of the original Arlington Park subdivision. This addition included numerous parcels, including this one at 2501 8th Avenue. Not much is known about the property between 1909 and 1936. However, in 1937, Jess Benjamin Taylor, with his wife, Louise, opened a sandwich shop on this corner . The Taylors leased the land from the Newsbaum family for $30 a month and converted the existing filling station here into an eatery; it consisted of eight stools and a counter in 1937. The shop charged 10 cents for hamburgers and 5 cents for root beer. Mr. Taylor recalled in a 1987 "Greeley Tribune" article that some of his earliest customers were pilots at the nearby Greeley airport, located at 8th Avenue and 37th Street. Taylor stated, "Those pilots were some of our first customers. They sometimes used to pull their planes over here right across the highway, and we'd give them curb service." Jess' Sandwich Shop closed temporarily when Mr. Taylor was called to serve in World War II. Upon his return to Greeley, Taylor purchased this lot outright for $1,790, and he added a dining room and expanded kitchen to the old filling station. City directories reveal that Taylor leased the restaurant to several individuals between 1952 and 1959. The eatery was known as Vic's Drive-in between 1952 and 1955. Lavonne F. Kraft apparently ran Lee's Drive-In at this location in 1956. City directories further reveal that E.K.Edwards operationed Bear's Inn at this location between 1957 and 1959. Sometime between 1959 and 1964, a fire destroyed the restaurant. Jess Benjamin Taylor built the current building to replace his fire-ravaged eatery in 1964-65. He opened a franchise of the then-popular Dog 'n' Suds Drive-In fast-food chain in this new building. The restaurant featured drive-in stalls where customers parked and ordered their meal by telephone. Carhops then delivered the meals right to customer's automobile window. On August 1, 1970, Jess Benjamin and Louise Taylor retired and sold the business to their son-in-law and daughter, Clarence C. and Geneva Clark. The name of the drive-in was immediately changed to "J.B.'s Drive-In," in honor of Geneva's father, Jess Benjamin; it has remained the same for over 30 years. Since the beginning, J.B.'s Drive-In has offered hamburgers, chicken, barbeque beef, shrimp and Rocky Mountain oysters. For years, Geneva made handmade pies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Clarence baked them every morning.