May 1, 2015: Triangle Drive-In Restaurant


The Triangle Drive-In Restaurant was located right beside Interstate 40,  and it featured a car drive-in where food orders were made and delivered to the car.  The restaurant opened in 1961, in a prime location near the Major League Bowling Lanes, A & P Food Store, and Farmer’s Dairy Bar.

The restaurant also claimed its place in the “cruising” group of Winston-Salem restaurants, where drivers drove their cars around and through the parking lot to see and to be seen.

One might wonder where the name “Triangle” had its origin.  Looking at the aerial photograph of the area shown below, Interstate 40 is at the right, with Miller Street at the left, and Stratford Road is at the bottom, forming a large triangle.  The two large buildings near the corner formed by Stratford Road and Interstate 40 are the Dairy Bar/A & P at the left, with Major League Bowling Lanes at the right.  Behind these two large buildings is a smaller triangle-shaped piece of land, and there sits the Triangle Drive-In.  The drive-in portion is parallel to Interstate 40. See the closer view in the small cropped version below.

Aerial Stratford Road   aerial stratford road-2

There was another Triangle Drive-In, located at 433 N. 30th Street.  It opened about 1958, owned by Bert L. Anderson.  It existed through 1960, and was replaced by (or renamed as) Coalson Drive-In Restaurant.  One possibility is that the name was transferred to the new Triangle Drive-In.  The Anderson Triangle Restaurant was also located on a triangle-shaped lot, bordered by 30th Street, Ivy Avenue, and Indiana Avenue.

In the larger aerial above, the Masonic Temple and parking lot can be seen off Miller Street.  This area looks different today, since the Masonic Temple was recently razed and construction is underway for a new Publix Super Market.  Also, note the two-lane Miller Street, and the wooded area at the far upper left corner, where today is located Whole Foods and several other businesses.

Across Stratford Road, at the lower portion of the photograph, is a Howard Johnson’s Restaurant and Motor Lodge.  There is also a wooded lot next to Howard Johnson’s.  Today this area is filled with businesses.

The Triangle Drive-In closed about 1979.  In the 1990s, the buildings in front of the Triangle Drive-In, facing Stratford Road, were demolished.  Farmer’s Dairy Bar had become Mayberry’s Restaurant, and it relocated to the area in the upper part of the aerial photo, near where Interstate 40 and Miller Street cross.  Major League Bowling Lanes relocated to Jonestown Road.  A new shopping center was built at this site, with shops and restaurants.  Today the larger tenants are Schiffman’s Jewelers, Five Points Restaurant, and Midtown Cafe and Dessertery.

I remember eating there one time, after a bowling date at Major League Lanes.  We had pizza.  Do you have memories of the Triangle Drive-In?  Please share if you do.

Photos courtesy of Forsyth County Public Library Photograph Collection.

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8 Responses

  1. Dean Webster says:

    Great memories and archiving.

    For whatever reason, I am not much aware of anyone who ever dined at the Triangle. It seems kind of bizarre to me that I never went with my family or friends, even though we frequently went to that specific area of town/Stratford.

    Was the Triangle any good? Who were the typical patrons?

    I also remember cruising. My colleagues, all RJRHS students, called it, “cruising the Triangle; I think the activity was fairly prevalent in my youth/teens, but I pretty much never heard of any of my peers doing it (except, perhaps, semi-ironically); so, who were the cruising participants? — the non-RJR high school students with whom we had very little contact?; people already out of high school?; people from outside Winston-Salem?

  2. Alan Toy says:

    In the mid-sixties I remember kids showing off their Beatle wigs at the Trangle. Just a couple of years later I was being sent home from Reynolds for having real hair that long.

  3. catnoe says:

    My Mom was married in the late 50’s. She told me that in the 50’s they were cruising Stratford but mainly the Triangle. Her youngest sister would have been cruising the Triangle as seen in the pic.

    My favorite memory of the A&P is the smell of fresh ground coffee that hit you as soon as you came through the door.

  4. Tom says:

    In HS Stratford Rd was the place to cruise in Winston-Salem, starting at the Triangle, going to the Whopper and back again. It was where you squealled tires showing off your ride. Later, after four years in the Navy, met a beautiful girl parked across from me at the Triangle that became my wife and daughter’s mother.

  5. Hank says:

    I grew up on greenwich rd inthe early 60s, I remember watching the bowling alley burn down.
    we used to go under 40 in a big culvert to get to thruway. the jump jump was a trampoline place where kids could play, it was where stein mart is.then came putt putt, in the early 70s the kandw blew up from a gas leak

  6. Nancy says:

    My aunt took us to the Triangle in mid-70’s. I had never had pizza before, and so loved their pizza!
    There was a very small gas station-an Esso/Exxon-which was on Stratford and sat kind of in front of the dairy bar. They had the cleanest bathroom!

  7. John Coan says:

    My fmily lived on Forest Dr. which terminated at Stratford Rd., and thus the Esso mentioned was about a five or ten minute drive. As I recall the owner’s name was Henry Johnson. No guarantee though … relying on a young boy’s memory.

  8. carol craddock says:

    We cruised the triangle “ironically” in the 70s. We thought it was quaint and amusing. I remember as a small kid in the 60s sitting at Farmers Dairy or A&P watching the cars circle the parking lot

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