Fondly remembered as the ‘Arf and Barf’ by some, the Dog n Suds Drive-in was initially located on Dewdney Trunk Road approximately where a realty office is now.
With the construction of Maple Ridge Square, the ‘Dog’ moved across Edge Street to a new home on the current site of Paliotti’s Italian Restaurant.
The first Dog n Suds Drive-in was established in 1953 in Champaign, Illinois by teachers Don Hamacher and Jim Griggs.
Not too long after their hot dog stand opened, the pair was approached by a wealthy local, who asked them to build her a restaurant just like theirs.
This new Dog n Suds was the first of what would become hundreds of Dog drive-ins across the United States and later Canada.
Between the 1960s and 1970s, the Dog n Suds was one of the hottest hangout spots in Haney.
People excitedly describe the parking lot as a constant party, which is probably not far from the truth; the Dog, along with the A&W, was one of the Friday night ‘cruising’ locations for teenagers and young adults.
“We didn’t have much, but what we had, we worked hard to get,” local Laura McCartney reminisced.
“We hung out at the Dog n Suds and A&W and drove around just to see who was cruising. Often we would have five or six people in our cars and they would all chip in 25 cents for gas and you had entertainment for the night, just cruising and seeing what people were doing. We often walked around waiting for someone to pick us up to go cruising.”
Every parent knows that wherever there are teenagers, there are sure to be good-natured hijinks and shenanigans. It was an all-too-common sight for carhops to have people ride up to the drive-in on their bicycles and request with a smirk to “put the tray on the window.”
Speaking to our agricultural past, there were even instances where patrons ‘drove up’ on horses.
The Dog’s curb-side experience was second to none: With your stomach growling, you would pull into the drive-in. In no time at all, a carhop girl, who was dressed in a white shirt, a poppy red skirt, cut-off jacket and pointy hat, would walk right up to your car to take your order. Now, there was nothing to do but sit back and relax, or chat with fellow drive-in patrons, while your food was cooked. With a cheerful smile, your carhop girl would attach a serving tray to your car door, place the mouth-watering meal on the tray, then finally you were enjoying a foot-long hot dog.
As the name implies, the drive-in specialized in hot dogs (dog) and root beer (suds). Other menu items included typical drive-in fare: chicken strips, grilled cheese, root beer floats, sundaes.
The Dog staff made their own root beer, closely following the restaurant’s super-sweet ‘World’s Creamiest Root Beer’ recipe that was provided to franchisee owners.
Though it was extremely popular while it was in operation, as times changed and people moved on, the Dog n Suds eventually closed its doors. While the memories of the Dog still remain, it sure would be nice to jump in the car and go to the place “where everything is so dog-gone good.”
Sandra Borger is a researcher with the Maple Ridge Museum.