Jan 28, 2013

A Personal Memoir



I'm not sure memoir is a good title, rather than facts and records, I have hazy recollections. Assuming my memory will not improve at this stage of the game, let me put to print that which I can still recall. In about 1958 my father built Flaggs Drive-In. McDonalds had opened on Lehigh Street, and pretty much proved that people were willing to sit in their cars and eat fast food at bargain prices. For my father, who was in the meat business, this seemed a natural. As a rehearsal he rented space at the Allentown Fair for a food stand, and learned you cannot sell hotdogs near Yocco's. He purchased some land across from a corn field on Hamilton Blvd. and built the fast food stand. In addition to hamburgers, he decided to sell fried chicken. The chicken was cooked in a high pressure fryer called a broaster, which looked somewhat like the Russian satellite Sputnik. The stand did alright, but the business was not to my father's liking, seems he didn't have the personality to smile at the customers. He sold the business several years later to a family which enlarged and enclosed the walk up window. Subsequent owners further enlarged the location several times. The corn field later turned into a Water Park, and you know Flaggs as Ice Cream World.

I'm grateful to a kind reader who sent me this picture of Flaggs

reprinted from January, 2011

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Michael,

Where did the name "Flagg's come from, assuming your family name was Molovinsky?

michael molovinsky said...

@7:39, as I recall, my father wanted a name with 6 letters, so that one could be placed on the end of each beam and it's upright.

Anonymous said...

Michael,
When did Flaggs become Ice cream World?? My memory is just as "fuzzy" as yours gets at times (well, after three quarters of a century I guess I am allowed!)I believed I served Flaggs just before Freeman's Dairy closed it's doors in the early 80's......PJF

michael molovinsky said...

mr. PF, my father operated it for about two years, and then leased it to someone for another year or two. the second tenant then bought it from him. i believe he was previously the manager at a drive in on union blvd., near walps, perhaps it was called the Four Chiefs. that is the daughter in photo, on left. she was a classmate of mine. they operated it for quite a few years, then selling it to the ice cream world guy, who previously had the carvel next to the king george inn.

Anonymous said...

Ah! The Memories!!
Thank You Michael for all you do in trying to preserve our all but forgotten History, for future generations. Especially with W,P.A. Projects.....PJF

Anonymous said...

Hi Michael
My son Jeremy saw this photo on facebook and knew it was me. My parents owned and operated Flaggs for about 20 years and I worked there weekends as a highschool student. We did fast food - cheese steaks, hamburgers, hoagies, pizza etc. No wonder I have a weight problem. My friend Judy Saul is the other girl in the photo. It was taken for an ad in the Wm Allen High 1963 yearbook. Yes mom & dad did work at Four Chefs and so did I. Thanks for you blog on Allentown. I have lived in Sydney Australia for the past 40 years and enjoyed reading you Allentown history. All the best Stephanie Moretz Wilmot