Owners Arthur Boots (father) and Robert Boots (Arthur's son called Bob) opened Boots Drive-In in 1946 boasting of serving breakfast at any hour. The diner served sandwiches, waffles, frosty malts, doughnuts, and had a soda fountain with root beer. By day, the diner was filled with local adults as well as tourists who may have come to stay in the Boots Court (see Clio entry for Boots Court) located just across the street. By night, it became Carthage’s teenage hangout spot. The Drive-In, like the Boots Court, was built in the same streamlined Art Deco design that was thought to be thoroughly modern for the time.
Robert (Bob) Boots had very fond memories about his restaurant describing it as the “symbol of the lustrous, upbeat, high-energy post war years, the likes of which may never come again (1). Not only did the diner serve meals but also was home to a radio program called Breakfast at the Crossroads of America hosted by James (Lee) Crocker who interviewed U. S. 66 & 71 travelers as well as locals. Boots Drive-In closed in 1970.
The drive-up portico on the northside of the building is an addition made by the financial institution that now occupies the former drive-in restaurant.
Text by Malorie Menefee, Powers Museum, Fall 2017.