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As often happens, I found out about this chain while researching something else, in this case B-K Root Beer stands. There were dozens of ads for franchising opportunities in the Michigan newspaper for Frostop Root Beer stands in the 1950's, I have posted an example below. So, I wondered if any were actually opened in Michigan and sure enough, there were.
There was one in Pontiac I probably drove by a hundred times and never noticed. The revolving root beer mug was standing until just a few years ago. It had been closed for many years. I only wish I would have known about it sooner. The company is still going as of 2023 and they do have some drive-ins, just not in Michigan. They do sell their root beer online and through retail stores however. I need to check it out for sure.
Here is the list for Michigan so far:
From the Frostop Web Site:
Since 1926, we have served millions of loyal Frostop Drive-In customers with a classic burger-stand menu featuring the tastiest and creamiest Root Beer in America. We are famous for our award-winning Frostop Root Beer, and proud that all our original varieties of root beer and creme soft-drinks are brewed with the same pride and quality as when Mr. L.S. Harvey opened the first Frostop Root Beer Stand back in 1926.
Frostop is the name of an American root beer brand and chain of fast food drive-in restaurants. The restaurants are known for their rotating oversized root beer mugs used as outdoor signage.
The first Frostop root beer stand was opened in 1926 in Springfield, Ohio by L.S. Harvey. A chain of franchise locations was established, with the biggest growth following World War II. The Frostop drive-ins reached their peak in 1958 with locations concentrated mostly in the American midwest and deep south, but found from New York and Florida to California and Washington state.
Frostop brand products—Root Beer, Sarsaparilla, Red Birch Beer, Orange Cream, Black Cherry, and a Vanilla Caramel Cream soda—are still available in supermarkets and convenience stores in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Although not as numerous as they were in the 1950s and 1960s, Frostop drive-in franchises can still be found scattered across America.