Fondly remember Shakey's
I have been reminiscing about Shakey's recently and found this forum. I thought I'd add my 2 cents.
I grew up in Belleville, Illinois and remember the best Friday or Saturday nights included Shakey's with the family. Always enjoyed the pizza (...had to wonder about those who would order the Hawaiian with pineapple & Canadian bacon) & potatos... never knew they were called 'Mojo' till reading the forum.
We had a Shakey's in Belleville that was always a gathering spo on weekends for young & old alike. I remember the long tables, Keystone Kops movies, the banjo & piano players, the sing-alongs, and the viewing window. The lighting was subdued and the decor was all dark-polished wood. There were a couple of very early-technology video games: a pong like game where you could select 'tennis', 'squash', etc... and a 'canyon-bomber-like' game where a blocky 'airplane' moved across the screen, and at the push of a button, dropped 'bombs' on different layers of blocks moving in the opposite direction. Very pimitive, but I was bitten by the video game bug from day one.
As I moved up into highschool a new, military step-father, and at the request of Uncle Sam, we relocated to Warner-Robins, Georgia from 1979 to 1982. There we were able to continue enjoying weekend evenings at Shakey's. The seating (to my memory) changed from the long, common tables to individual tables seating up to 6 with a couple extra chairs. The video games were a bit more advanced (Space War, Skydiver, and the REAL Atari Canyon Bomber). There was also a large screen baseall game that you could see & play anywhere in the restaurant by dropping a quarter in the coin box and using a remote control box with a single button. One press would cause the pitcher to throw the ball, another press (carefully timed) would cause the batter to swing. Sadly missing was the dixieland music.
While in High School (Warner-Robins H.S. Class of 82') I was in the band when we took a road trip to perform at Opryland in Nashville, TN. One evening the band busses took us all to a local Shakey's that still had all the magic... the common seating, piano & banjo, movies, etc... I remember that we sort of 'took the place over' for an hour or two! We had a VERY tall drum major (6 1/2 feet easy) and a very petite drum majorette. We stood her up on a chair and she & the drum major danced while the dixieland band played "The Tenessee Waltz". Ah, memories.
That was the last I remember of Shakey's anywhere. I am happy to see the old Warner-Robins store is still open. As my mom & step dad still live in Georgia I may take the family to W.R. for a pilgrimage to Shakey's some day.
I returned to Belleville in 2000 having been being stationed at the Air Force base and I have recently retired after having served 20 years I now work on the base as a civilian. Sadly, Belleville Shakey's no more, but the building at the corner of North Belt & Royal Heights Rd. still stands and is used as attorneys' offices (St. Clair County court is seated in Belleville). I'm glad at least the structure is still standing & used. My other favorite place to eat was Burger Chef. The building for the original location remains as well, but as a Chinese buffet, but that is for another forum...