It’s the end of an era chapter but the Beckley community and beyond can cherish those years of fond memories at King Tut Drive-In…. and say ‘remember when.’
“Other than just hamburgers and things like that and so that kind of stayed popular and we have not changed the recipe ever since,” said owner, Dave McKay. “Some of them came from my grandmother from the depression — 1930’s. She was a restaurant manager in a chain-store called Higbee’s, which later became rich’s department store.”
So McKay’s dad adopted a lot of the recipes and added a few of his own.
“We’ve always done the best quality we could do, the best food we could find, and we’ve just kept it at that,” he said. “We have a good sized menu so we’ve been real popular that way, as you could tell… It seems to stay that way.”
It doesn’t get more iconic than King Tut Drive-In, so it’s bittersweet to say goodbye to this piece of history that’s been a comforting mainstay in Beckley since 1955.
Dave worked for AT&T for 33 years — his father handed off the family business to him.
“It was once one of the three main drive-ins in Beckley and back when I was a kid all of us just circled around between the three on Saturday night,” said McKay. “But dad was the only drive-in that sold real dinners and good food.”
It’s hard to find drive-ins anywhere now but Dave said back in the day kids went there to socialize, eat and hang out.
“Anybody that grew up in that environment likes to continue going to them, and city of Beckley’s like that, lot of my customers have been around for a long time — they grew up here,” he said.
Ninety-one-year-old Jeanette Robinson has loved coming to King Tut for years with her generations of family and calls her favorite thing the chip chop ham sandwich and a baked potato.
“That we need to do, thank him and his family; they’re very precious,” Robinson, a Foster WV resident.
In honor of King Tut Drive-in… Dave says turn off your cell phones, pretend it’s 1955 and talk to each other.
“We’re gonna miss everybody,” McKay said. “We enjoyed doing this… I enjoyed keeping Beckley fed.”