Dec 8, 2017
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 August of 2014
ADDENDUM: Allentown and its environs have changed considerably in the last 60 years. While Yocco's is still a very viable business in the suburbs, the center city demographic changes no longer supported selling hot dogs at 625 Liberty Street. After 85 years, that store closed in the summer of 2016. Flaggs (Ice Cream World), rather than being outside of town, is now on the way to Hamilton Crossings.