Classic nite shot from the ’60s, featuring the famous neon ablaze…
(Editor’s Note: In a previous ‘life’ of this website we promoted ‘Saving The Kwik Way,’ the iconic 50s hamburger drivein in Oakland , CA where I spent many a good time and hamburgers, going back to when they cost 19 cents. Even tshirts with the moniker ‘Save the Kwik Way’ seemed to go for naught. Fortunately , vigilant neighbors rejected condominium projects, McDonalds and others to take its place and it just took one right person, and appears Gary Rizzo is the man. So, Kudos to him, though it may be still a bit early to get too excited, but here’s the lateston the Kwik Way, plus some excerpts from the old website, ‘Save The Kwk Way.’
Kwik Way Drivein goes `back to the future’ – Retro Diner
Former popular DRIVEIN to reopen as `retro hamburger place’
The Kwik Way fast food restaurant on Lake Park Avenue near the Grand Lake Theater was a popular spot for teenagers to go in the ’60s and ’70s, but had fallen on hard times. Closed for at least two years, the front of the building is now covered with graffiti.
Gary Rizzo, the owner of Somerset Restaurant on College Avenue, said he wants to open a casual restaurant there with outdoor seating and landscaping. The new place will hearken back to the Kwik Way aesthetic, though there will be no drive-through window, which had been a big concern for neighbors.
NEWS FLASH – ORIGINAL KWIKWAY STILL LIVES IN E. OAKLAND
It came to our attention Sunday Sept 26, after attending an Oakland A’s baseball game that one of the three ORIGINAL Kwik Ways still stands at or near its original location on International Blvd (previously E. 14th St) near 62nd Ave. The facade may be new but the food is the same… that spicy sauce you won’t get anywhere else – and the old Kwik Way logo emblazoned above..
We had to try the food… It was daylight so we braved the mean street s of Oakland (we say that with love a s we grew up here).
So, if that wasn’t exciting news for me I don’t know what is…
Check it out! Living history!
“It’s not like a chain fast-food restaurant, there will be outdoor seating,” said City Councilwoman Pat Kernighan. “There will not be a driveway window, that’s something the neighborhood and I absolutely opposed. We do not want to encourage any more car traffic across that sidewalk than we need to.”
Kernighan has been working with Rizzo and city and county officials to transform the shuttered Kwik Way drivein into a new establishment, which she described as a “retro hamburger place.”
“It will be a welcome reprieve from the blighted condition we’ve lived with for many years,” she said.
It’s not that people haven’t been trying to do something about the property, which is owned by local real estate developer Alex Hahn. In 2004, hundreds of local residents fought a proposal to turn the Kwik Way into a McDonald’s.Later, a plan for a mix of housing and retail on the property was proposed, but it fell through along with the downturn in the housing market, Kernighan said.
Recently, Kernighan said she believed construction could begin at the site by the second week of September and that Rizzo was “within 48 hours” of finalizing the permits.
She said there was one main issue left, involving the safest location for the outdoor seating.
“There was some disagreement about where the outdoor seating should be located,” she said, “which side of the building.”
Rizzo said he passed the health department permitting but needs two other permits from the city.
“We’re poised and ready to go as soon as we get those permits,” he said.
Rizzo said it would take at least until the second week of September to acquire the permits, since changes will be needed to architectural drawings and his architect will be away on vacation until then.
When his restaurant does open, Rizzo said the Kwik Way building will be restored.
“I don’t think that should be changed, it has too much history here,” Rizzo said. “There are too many people who remember going there when they were kids, or recently. We’re keeping the building as intact as possible and keeping the whole concept intact, architecturally and historically, it’s kind of iconic.”
KWIK WAY during better times. (Acually this was taken only about 5 years ago with my ’63 Imperial in front’ But, the restaurant, still open then, hadn’t changed much in 45 years. Old Web article follows…circa 2005
Old promo from around ’05… Still have
some tshirts left – if anyone wants one for cost ($12) just comment to this post and we’ll leave them for you at 484 Lake Park, near Kwik Way or oyu can submit $12 plus $3 postage – $15 to paypal email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thankfully, we can now say it worked, sort of…