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Beacon Drive-In

255 John B. White Sr. Boulevard, Spartanburg, SC - (864) 585-9387
Posted By Scott Wilson on 7/15/2011 11:33:00 PM
Let me start out by saying I've grown up with The Beacon Drive-In. We, local high school students in the 70s, would cruise and eat at The Beacon Drive-In every Friday and Saturday night. We'd load up our hot rods and head outta Inman around 8 PM, drive to Spartanburg, and park on the bottom side (carhop side) of The Beacon Drive-In. The carhops would come to your vehicle and take your order.

Most would invest in a Chili-Cheese A-Plenty to fulfill their appetites. The best part of the plate were the onion rings. They were greasy but extremely super-flavorful and overly plentiful on the tray that the carhop hung from your window!

After we polished off as much as we could, we'd start cruisin' up the parking lot to drop off our trash and trays, then circle out on Reidville Road to make another pass. This was a weekly ritual with the greatest food around.

But tonight, now living 60 miles away, I began a journey to commemorate those days and dispel all the negative comments listed here with a meal for my wife and myself. We got there around 8 O'clock and my wife ordered a Cheeseburger A-Plenty. I ordered something that most won't eat, a half-and-half order of livers and gizzards without trimmings. I figured there would be more than enough fries and onion rings on her plate for us both so I ordered my plate plain.

We went outside, ready for an awesome meal. To my surprise there was only about half of what use to be on a plate so I walked back in to get an order of onion rings. I returned to our table only to have my bubble burst. The onions were WAY too greasy and the breading had no taste. I had to drown the onions and the "parts" I ordered in ketchup to give them flavor.

With my feelings shattered I could do nothing shy of apologizing to my wife for wasting her time, $40 in gas, and giving her indigestion. To my disappointment, the other reviewers hit the nail on the head. This was the worst meal I've had in quite some time! I'm sorry to agree but The Beacon Drive-In was a Drive-Out for me, forever.

I have never posted a review of a restaurant in my life but I feel so strongly about my latest experience that I have to let everyone know what's what. Not only was the food tasteless, I paid $4.00 for a grilled cheese sandwich for a two-year-old: two slices of plain white bread and a couple of pieces of sliced wrapped cheese! Let talk about adding insult to injury. All I can say is, "Beacon, you can turn off your light, cause I'll not follow it to Spartanburg ever again." Mr. White, I thank you for all those weekends in the 70s and may The Beacon Drive-In rest in peace.

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Scorecard

1 - Overall: Won't Eat Again
Overall: Won't Eat Again
A-Plenty
Livers & Gizzards
Cheeseburger A Plenty
Rate this place
The Beacon's tea is lemony, very sweet and just might be the best in the entire South!  They sell the regular and peach tea in gallons and half-gallons to go.
"The Beacon's tea is lemony, very sweet and just might be the best in the entire South! They sell the regular and peach tea in gallons and half-gallons to go."
Cliff Strutz





A syrup-and-whipped-cream topped banana split that is big enough for at least four pigs!
"A syrup-and-whipped-cream topped banana split that is big enough for at least four pigs!"
Michael Stern


Notice there are two buns on the bottom!  A great design to keep the sandwich from getting soggy.  I was surprised there was cole slaw on the meat but what a great complement.  I loved it!
"Notice there are two buns on the bottom! A great design to keep the sandwich from getting soggy. I was surprised there was cole slaw on the meat but what a great complement. I loved it!"
Brian Piper


Great side dishes!  Hush puppies, baked beans and cole slaw.  Even the baked beans had a little cole slaw in it and it tasted great!
"Great side dishes! Hush puppies, baked beans and cole slaw. Even the baked beans had a little cole slaw in it and it tasted great!"
Brian Piper


For a true taste of the South, try the pimento cheese-a-plenty.
"For a true taste of the South, try the pimento cheese-a-plenty."
Cliff Strutz


The outside pork-a-plenty features a fine chopped pork sandwich with just a small amount of sauce.  Extra sauce is available on request.
"The outside pork-a-plenty features a fine chopped pork sandwich with just a small amount of sauce. Extra sauce is available on request."
Cliff Strutz


Uhhh... A-Plenty!  One of the things they are most known for.  A HUGE stack of homemade onions rings and french fries.  I had to dig my way down to get to my Outside Pork sandwich!  WOW!
"Uhhh... A-Plenty! One of the things they are most known for. A HUGE stack of homemade onions rings and french fries. I had to dig my way down to get to my Outside Pork sandwich! WOW!"
Brian Piper


A-plenty, as in this chili cheese-a-plenty, means that it comes with onion rings and fries, doled out in generous portions.
"A-plenty, as in this chili cheese-a-plenty, means that it comes with onion rings and fries, doled out in generous portions."
Cliff Strutz


Fried nearly instantly when ordered, this hot catfish is whole and soulful (although headless), the way true catfish devotees like it.
"Fried nearly instantly when ordered, this hot catfish is whole and soulful (although headless), the way true catfish devotees like it."
Michael Stern


This newer sign, located at the front of the ordering line, is there to help newcomers with the Beacon's distinctive lingo.
"This newer sign, located at the front of the ordering line, is there to help newcomers with the Beacon's distinctive lingo. "
Cliff Strutz


One of the many signs above the order counter, where patrons are encouraged to CHOOSE FAST and WALK THE LINE
"One of the many signs above the order counter, where patrons are encouraged to CHOOSE FAST and WALK THE LINE"
Michael Stern


Local legend JC Strobel has been 'calling out' customer's orders for over 50 years!
"Local legend JC Strobel has been 'calling out' customer's orders for over 50 years!"
Cliff Strutz


Found in the small middle dining room, this nostalgic mural shows the Beacon Drive-In from olden days.
"Found in the small middle dining room, this nostalgic mural shows the Beacon Drive-In from olden days."
Cliff Strutz


This evocative print of the Beacon in 1946 is available for sale at the restaurant and at the Beacon's web site.
"This evocative print of the Beacon in 1946 is available for sale at the restaurant and at the Beacon's web site."
Michael Stern


This lighthouse stands at the far corner of the Beacon's immense parking lot.  A helicopter pad for airborne approach is across the street.
"This lighthouse stands at the far corner of the Beacon's immense parking lot. A helicopter pad for airborne approach is across the street."
Michael Stern


Souvenir of excellent pork and sweet tea
"Souvenir of excellent pork and sweet tea"
Michael Stern



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