Ardy & Ed’s Drive In in Oshkosh opened for its 66th season Wednesday morning. Kind of like robins or leaves on the trees, locals say it’s a sign of spring.
For Ardy & Ed’s regular Anna Zimmerman, it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter.
“It stank, oh my gosh! I wanted to come here so bad! We were, like counting down the days when they’d open!” Zimmerman exclaimed.
The seasonal drive-in usually opens around the first of March. This year, despite bitter temperatures, it’s no different.
“It’s a little cold outside, colder than usual, I don’t expect people to be ordering a lot of ice cream yet!” exclaimed car hop Samantha Retzloff.
But the cold didn’t seem to stop customers from getting in for their burgers and fries.
“We should have a pretty busy night, because we’ve got a lot of regulars that come back for opening day,” said Retzloff.
“It makes you feel really good to see everyone you haven’t seen since last fall,” said owner Steven Davis.
Unfortunately, the drive-in’s signature skating car hops were on flat feet to stay warm. They also took care to pile on a few extra layers.
“It’s not so bad, I don’t think, with all the layers,” said Retzloff.
To take the edge off the cold the car hops do have a heated hut where they place orders and warm up a bit.
“And when you’re standing by someone’s window you can kind of get a little warm air coming out,” explained Retlzloff, laughing.
Despite the chilly challenges, customers and employees say this is an exciting day.
“I think they look at our re-opening as a sign that spring might be coming eventually!” Davis explained.
“I’m really excited for it to be a new year and Ardy & Ed’s is open!” said customer Kiara Stevens excitedly.
A bit of hope that even the worst winters won’t last forever.