Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Riggen's Frostop Root Beer Stand, Chrisman, Illinois.

The Frostop in Chrisman, Illinois, was built in 1954 by E.O. Tate. Rena Riggen started working for Mr. Tate in 1955. In 1956, Rena and her husband, Robert (Bob) Riggen, began leasing the Frostop from Mr. Tate. They leased the restaurant for three years, but in 1959, Mr. Tate sold the Frostop to Luther Vandevander. Rena stayed on and worked for him. Two years later, Rena and Bob bought the Frostop. Since 1961, the Frostop in Chrisman has been run by the Riggen family.
In the early 1990s, Rena & Bob's children took over the restaurant. Their children, Sue & Dave, now run the restaurant.

Riggen's Frostop still uses car hops and does not have indoor seating.

The restaurant offers service to cars, picnic tables, and to-go orders. The menu consists of hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ sandwiches, catfish dinners, Italian beef dinners, pizza, ice cream, and of course, the famous root beer in a frosty mug.

The Frostop is seasonal and is open from mid-March until mid-October due to the cold Midwestern winters. The Riggen's Frostop has been Chrisman's local landmark and hangout since it was built.
Frostop in Chrisman, Illinois.

Frostop is a name that, at its zenith, was most familiar to millions of thirsty Americans. In 1926, Mr. L. S. Harvey opened his first Frostop Root Beer stand in Springfield, Ohio. It was so successful that word quickly spread about his operation and its delicious, creamy root beer.

Soon, Frostop stands spread throughout the nation until the onset of World War II. During the war, expansion was curtailed due to shortages of building materials and equipment, as well as the flavors and sweetening agents so necessary in the manufacture of Frostop Root Beer.
After the war, Mr. Harvey, who was convinced that Frostop was the finest root beer ever made, resumed the expansion of the chain. Under new aggressive ownership in the 1950s, Frostop experienced tremendous growth during the post-war boom years of the drive-in era. The signature brown and yellow, neon-lit stands, with their gigantic, revolving root beer mug on top, dotted the countryside and became a favorite place to rest and enjoy an icy cold frosted mug of Frostop.

Frostop Neon Sign Rotating

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.

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