Pondarosa, a blast from the past

Published 12:32 am Wednesday, April 5, 2006

By By Janet Little Cooper
I have often referred to David's Catfish House as the Pondarosa in the past 13 years.
And I have often had flashbacks when eating in David's or days gone by when I see Mr. Robert or Katie slaving away in the kitchen or on the floor.
It almost seems strange to see them in David's, for most everyone who has lived in Atmore for some time knows that Mr. Robert and Katie go with the Pondarosa like peanut butter and jelly.
News of the Pondarosa closing 13 years ago was hard enough, but yesterday we learned that the actual building will be demolished as David's relocates in Atmore and makes way for a Walgreens.
I am excited about the news, but at the same time. I am sad to see the familiar building go.
The Pondarosa Drive-In was one of my favorite eating places in town back in the day.
When I think of the Pondarosa, my mind and taste buds immediately turn to the famous three for a $1 party burgers. Wow! The dollars I spent!
Then I recall the baked potato prepared anyway you liked it. Mr. Robert had the corner on the baked potato market way b fore the Wendy's fast food chain and certainly better.
And then there are the memories I like many of you share about the restaurant.
It would be interesting to know how many cars and how many miles were racked up making the weekend ride around the ever-popular Pondarosa.
You were not 'with it' until you made at least 15 loops around the drive-through with your windows rolled down and the stereo blaring on Friday and Saturday nights.
Bathroom stops were also a common thing on the weekend, making a revolving door of the side entrance and bathroom doors.
I will never forget my first trip to the Pondarosa. I didn't even eat anything.
I was a junior in high school and our yearbook staff was having a car wash on the side of what is now Feaster's.
My first really, real boyfriend, came by to pick me up on his lunch break and we drove through the Pondarosa to get him lunch.
It wasn't cool for me to eat in front of him then. I was soaking wet and we were not even 'going together' at the time.
The reason why I remember this first trip to the Pondarosa so well, is because it was on the way home, after eating his burger, that we kissed for the first time as he stopped on the side of Highway 4.
I was hooked from that day on. On the Pondarosa that is.
South Main will definitely look different once David's and the famous triangle roof is gone.
David's is good, but Atmore will never have a restaurant quite like the Pondarosa.
Janet Little Cooper is lifestyles reporter for the Atmore Advance. She can be reached at 368-2123.

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