The Big M

February 15, 1992|By Sherrie Ruhl

3035 Churchville Road, Churchville. Open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. Call (410) 734-7788. This combination carhop, carryout and drive-in theater is a must for anyone nostalgic for the good old days of the '50s and '60s. The drive-in, one of two still operating in Maryland, opened in 1952. Carryout and carhop operations were added in 1962 and the menu is basically the same today, says current owner Robert F. Wagner. His family took over the business in 1979.

The fried chicken is still prepared in a pressure cooker, for example. Three pieces of fried chicken, two vegetables and a hot roll are $4.45. The footlong hot dog is topped with a chili meat sauce, using the same recipe folks in Churchville have enjoyed for decades. It sells for $2.

There are a few seats inside the restaurant but most nostalgia buffs prefer to park their cars in one of 20 carhop stalls, push a button and give their order over a speaker. A cheerful Big M employee then brings the made-to-order meal to your car.

A vintage, go-for-broke meal is a fat roast beef sandwich with a spicy-sweet barbecue sauce, $2, a large order of fries, $2.50, and a large chocolate shake for $2.50.

And if that's not enough reminiscing for you, about 300 antique cars will cruise into the parking lot each weekend, beginning April 4. The drive-in theater will also begin operating once warm weather arrives.

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