The Dog ‘n Suds drive-in in Montague is pictured as it looked in the first year of business in 1963.
To honor the community and create awareness of its upcoming 50th year anniversary, Dog ‘n Suds of Montague is holding an open house today (Oct. 28), 1-5 p.m., at its iconic restaurant building next to the White River Bridge, 4454 Dowling St.
“This open house starts the count-down to Dog ‘n Suds 50 year anniversary,” says David Hosticka, owner. “We invite area residents into our humble kitchen to meet our crew, enjoy complimentary food and renew our commitment to our community. We will continue to work hard to serve the residents of Whitehall, Montague and beyond.”
Everything was simple back in the early 1960s when the restaurant was founded. America was thriving and families were all living the American dream. For some, that meant owning their own business. In 1962 a Montague High School teacher was pondering that very dream. It was a very simple plan, to open a drive-in and sell hot dogs and root beer during the summer months while families were enjoying the warm West Michigan weather.
The Dog ‘n Suds brand was the choice. It was the fastest growing drive-in restaurant in its day. There was already an A&W located in nearby Whitehall and the competition would be good for the local economy. As a local high school teacher, there was a ready supply of young students, eager for a summer job. In the year 1962, property was selected between the cities of Whitehall and Montague and construction began.
The modest little drive-in was opened in 1963 and was an instant success. Affordable, high quality food at a quick service restaurant was in high demand. It was also the perfect summer job for high school and college students. Parents were supportive of the owners teaching work ethics and basic life skills to the boys and girls who staffed the drive-in, soon to become young adults.
In the fall of 1965 a second young family arrived in the White Lake Area from the suburbs of Chicago to pursue their own version of the American dream. The original owners were ready to move on. In the spring of 1966, Dog ‘n Suds opened under new management, but never changed the basics that kept local families coming back again and again; hot food, cold drinks, fast and friendly service that offers the convenience of not having to get out of their vehicle.
As the years passed, the little drive-in that was built on the banks of the White River has endured many changes in the business climate. One thing that has not changed is that families can still enjoy the affordable, high quality food that is served hot and fresh to compliment their busy lifestyles.