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Name That Peoria Landmark* – Sandy’s Sheridan Road

*With apologies to PeoriaIllinoisan and NTPL.



Hint: The building still stands today.

Many readers remembered Sandy’s on Sheridan, across the street from Sheridan Village. The building is now occupied by Dairy Queen. I got the above picture and the following information from this website on the history of the fast food chain:

Peoria Sandy’s Sheridan Road was Sandy’s number one. It opened on August 8th, 1958 and was originally planned to be one of the first McDonalds east of the Mississippi River. Ray Krok, however, changed the leasing agreement to his favor when the building was being built. The founders of Sandy’s were not happy with the new terms which were violations of the original contract. They decided to follow the McDonald’s playbook and open their own drive-in and called it Sandy’s which is a Scottish play on the Irish McDonalds and to present a theme of swift and thrift service….

The choice of Peoria turned out to be a great one and by 1961 there were three Sandy’s locations in the city which were incredibly popular. Supported by Peoria’s numerous high schools as well as Bradley University, they became powerhouse businesses and Sandy’s was on its way spreading across the nation and becoming a dominant force in the fast food industry….

Sandy’s Peoria was not only the birthplace of the chain but it also was the spearhead of the transition between Hardees and Sandy’s. Sandy’s was in need of capital for expansion as well as to keep up with the leading fast food rivals in the nation. Based in Kewanee, Illinois, Sandy’s had one bank for financing. McDonalds, on the other hand was based in Chicago and had many of the most powerful banks in the world to choose from to finance their expansion plans. In order to compete, Sandy’s had to either issue stock or merge with a competitor. Hardees, on the other hand, needed Sandy’s strength, which was its board of directors and had plenty of capital. The merger made total sense….

The merger itself was announced in December of 1971. At some point, most likely in 1972, Sandy’s decided that it was in its interest to allow Hardees to buy the corporation out and become one…. Ninety percent of Sandy’s by this point had converted into Hardees. A few locations such as the Muscatine, Iowa Sandy’s remained Sandy’s well into the late 1970’s! Other locations became independant operators such as Bucky’s in Lawrence Kansas which continues to this day in 2004!

65 comments to Name That Peoria Landmark* – Sandy’s Sheridan Road

  • kcdad

    Dairy Queen!

  • Sharon Crews

    Is it on Main Street somewhere between Sheridan and High Street? Just guessing!

  • New Voice

    Was it ever a Mr. Quick?

  • kohlrabi

    On Sheridan by Sheridan Village. I heard that Sandy’s became the first Hardees.

  • Serenity

    Its on McClure, now Grandpa Joh’s B-B;Que

  • I agree with the Sheridan response. I’d rather have the 1969 Chevelle in the parking lot, though.

  • peoriafan

    This is were the current Dairy Queen on Sheridan is. I bet the Sandys was a lot cleaner than the dumpy Dairy Queen.

  • I remember it as Hardee’s, but my parents used to talk about Sandy’s all the time – and Hunts, of course.

  • JW

    Sandy’s, where I had my very first job, in 1966, which lasted 3 weeks. I worked the window and hated wearing those stupid paper hats. Hamburgers then were, I think .25, and they would charge us half price for anything we ate during meal breaks. I think I ended up owing them money. I was always the dork sent out to sweep the parking lot at closing time. I recall some shenanigans in the small basement, but won’t go into detail.

    Mr. Quick was at the top of Main Street hill, on the left. Their hamburgers were terrible, but their milk shakes were the best in town. It was also always filthy dirty.

    The best hamburgers in Peoria, ever, in my opinion, were from Hunts, especially the ones made by machine in their downtown restaurant. (It was on the first floor/sidewalk level in the building at the corner of Main and Adams, across from the Court House.)

  • Sharon Crews

    Yes, I just went the Main Street location and remembered that I had been thinking of Mr. Quick–that building is gone isn’t it? I thought about the McClure location, but I’m thinking it is the one on Sheridan.

  • New Voice


    Maybe you [we] are correct. I could swear there was a Mr. Quick on Sheridan as well.

  • peoriafan

    I think the Main St. Mr Quick building is still there. Next to that big old church.

  • JW

    Regional and national chains, according to the 1968 Peoria Polk City Directory:

    Sandys – 401 S Western Ave.
    Sandys – 200 W McClure
    Sandys – 4204 N Sheridan
    Sandys – 423 Main St (downtown, a few doors down from Palace Theater)

    Mr. Quick – 430 W Main St (next to Chans at top of Main Street hill)
    Mr. Quick – 3901 SW Adams

    McDonalds – 3600 N University
    McDonalds – 406 Junction Ave, EP
    McDonalds – 627 N Western

    A&W – 3304 N Prospect Rd
    A&W – 536 S Main St, Creve Coeur
    A&W – 3633 N Meadowbrook Rd
    A&W – 4217 SW Adams

    Kentucky Fried Chicken – 3320 N Prospect
    Kentucky Fried Chicken – 209 E Sheen, EP
    Kentucky Fried Chicken – 911 S Western

    Steak-n-Shake – 2613 N Adams
    Steak-n-Shake – 1150 W Washington, EP
    Steak-n-Shake – 521 W Main
    Steak-n-Shake – 4030 S Adams

    Dairy Queen – 2624 N Sheridan
    Dairy Queen – 1222 SW Jefferson
    Dairy Queen – 325 Junction, EP
    Dairy Queen – 1520 N Jefferson

    Velvet Freeze – 3102 N Gale
    Velvet Freeze – 1301 W Main (where Avanti’s is now)
    Velvet Freeze – 4311 S Adams

    Bonanza Sirloin Pit – 3505 N University

    Arbys Roast Beef – 3402 N University

    Shakey’s Pizza Parlor – 3311 N University

    There were no Mr Donuts at the time, but the best donuts ever made in the whole wide world came from Don’s Donuts, 501 Spring Street.

    There was also a place called Arthur Treachers (sp) Fish and Chips, along University, a couple blocks south of McDonalds, but it wasn’t listed in this directory. There were also several Lums in the area, but I believe they started in the early 1970’s.

  • max

    I believe this was Sandy’s on Western Ave.

  • Christi

    They were all Sandy’s before they became Quick’s, then Hardees. Some of you guys are showing your youth. You could buy a burger, fry and a coke for a quarter back then. Not that I remember it. If this one still stands itโ€™s been remodeled several times over. The one on Western stands, not sure if itโ€™s the same building or not though.

  • Ah yes, the memories! Spent lots of time at the McClure Sandy’s as a kid, as well as the A&W on Prospect. However, my favorite had to be Marco’s Delights in the Wisconsin Plaza during late grade school years. I don’t ever remember a single Sandy’s becoming a Mr. Quick. They all went Hardee’s. I did go to the Mr. Quick on Main a few times with my older sister, though, as well as Steak N Shake and Phone-A-Feast. Cruisin! Let’s not forget that terribly aweful Pizza World on University, either, with their little Gremlins. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ed Sanders

    Does anyone remember the Steak & Shake that was downtown in the 50’s on Main and Perry with a service window along the sidewalk and a small indoor seating area? The Mr Quick on SW Adams has for years been O’s BarBQue. Does anyone remember the first Lesters Donut location on University just off Main across from the Velvet Freeze and was first opened as Spudnuts with donuts made from potato flour? In the 50’s there was a Velvet Freeze on Knoxville across from the Beverly Theater.

  • None of the Sandy’s I know of became a Mr Quick. Mr Quick’s was in Sunnyland, down on SW Washington (Big O’s BBQ) and on Main St where it is a Chinese restaurant. The picture here is the one that was on Sheridan Rd near Lake St.

    Mr Quick’s was char broiled burgers and Sandy’s was not.

  • Oh Themis. Yes I loved Marco’s Delights. Mr Marco and his wife??? Also let’s not forget Hunter’s on Perry. Walk up window for their famous popcorn or those excellent greasy chili dogs.

  • I think that is Tina Parkhurst standing next to the Mustang….

  • Sandy’s was a marketing phenomenon based up the road in Kewanee, before being acquired by Hardee’s. Here’s a flashback for you:

  • And further down where all the kids are standing at the counter…. those kids are all from Central – class of ’71. That’s Margie Cullinan on the left with the flip hair do. That picture is in my yearbook!

  • Sharon Crews

    Ed Sanders: “Does anyone remember the Steak & Shake that was downtown in the 50โ€™s on Main and Perry with a service window along the sidewalk and a small indoor seating area?” That sounds more like the location of Hunter’s that was right across from First Methodist Church–not on the corner of Main and Perry but on Perry between Main and Hamilton. My dad was a Mason–and the lodge was at 727 Main, so after functions there he would take us to Hunter’s to get a hot dog and popcorn–the best ever.
    I do remember Don’s Donuts and Lester’s Donut’s (am I mistaken that Lester’s moved into the location on Spring Street–I don’t thiink that its first location was on University?). Shakey’s was my all time favorite! The Velvet Freeze on Main Street was at the present location of Avanti’s–and wasn’t Avanti’s first located right across the street from its present location?
    Oops! Just reread the responses–Emtronics beat me to Hunter’s

  • The Sandy’s in Peoria were owned by the Markowski’s I think. The parents owned them and then their son managed them for awhile. I don’t remember if he still owned them when they became Hardee’s or not… Wow, this takes me back!

  • Hunter’s had the best popcorn in the world! I remember sitting at Hunter’s with Louie Verkler in the late 60’s. He was driving one of his dad’s new cars with electric everything, which was really new then. He accidently kicked out a fuse, so when the girl came back with our food we couldn’t get the windows down or even so much as unlock the doors. He was upside down with his legs over the seat and his head under the steering wheel trying to get the fuse back in when she showed up by the side of the car. It was hilarious…

  • And let’s not forget Pizza Delight nor LaHood’s GREASY pizza (corner of Main and University, also, before eminent domain). Yes, Emtronics, that would be Mark Hurd and his wife Mary, Mr. & Mrs. Marco! LOL

  • My aunt lived in the Pere Marquette Apartments which were at the corner of Perry and Main also. You would get up to her apt on a freight elevator type thing with the gate that you had to close before it would move. All the apartments upstairs had trundle beds in the walls. I stayed there many a night with her, especially on parade days. The building is still there, I wonder if the apartments are too. This was when you could go to the Pere Marquette Hotel and they had live lobsters in a tank. You could choose which one you wanted for dinner!

  • OMG!! Em, I totally remember the Chinese restaurant! I totally got kicked out of school, thank you Harry Whittaker, for stealing a rickshaw from my senior homecoming dance. Whittaker calls my mother to tell her I had been drinking, and H*ll, I was sober as a judge. I was with Rob Bach and Rick DeVault, who had both graduated and were going to school at Bradley.

  • Sharon Crews

    MAWB: You said about Hunter’s “when she showed up by the side of the car”–was Hunter’s a drive-in restaurant? That seems like a strange place for a drive-in even in the 60s. Are you sure you didn’t mean Hunt’s on Farmington Rd? I suppose the huge lot that now belongs to First Methodist could have been the drive-in area for Hunter’s–just don’t remember.
    When you say, you remember the Chinese restaurant–do you mean the one that was in the basement of a building next door to the church on Main & High(I remember it, too)–not the one that is presently there. Also, is the present Chinese restaurant the Mr. Quick building, or has it been torn down?

  • Sharon Crews

    A&W – 3633 N Meadowbrook Rd–I think that was where my cousin had her first job–and didn’t the “car hops” wear rollerskates?

  • Sharon, I did mean Hunt’s on Farmington Road… although, when I was talking about the popcorn, that was Hunter’s… LOL I have old-timers!

    And the Chinese restaurant I am referring to was the one on Main in the basement!

  • Oh Sharon, I remember A & W too!! The Hibsers owned it forever!

  • Sharon Crews

    MAWB: Should you change your “handle”–middle-aged??? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Hey, I read somewhere yesterday that now-a-days middle age goes up to 85 yrs old now!!

  • Sharon Crews

    Fine with me!! I am now the 2nd middleaged woman blogging!!

  • jl

    There was a Chinese restaurant on Main called Chan’s. When I was a kid we got take out from there. Always chop suey. I haven’t had chop suey since.

  • Sharon Crews

    The Chinese restaurant next door to where Chan’s used to be is still there and is one of my favorites.

  • jl

    There was a Tastee Freez on Prospect across from Miracle Mart too. Hunter’s popcorn in the brown paper bags soaked through with butter. We used to walk over from the Voyager Inn swimming pool for popcorn and hotdogs. The popcorn was so buttery you could not turn the steering wheel of a car after eating it. We used to try to cruise around while eating a bag of it.

  • JW

    Maybe this will help clear things up (addresses from the 1975 Peoria, Illinois Bell phone book):

    2027 W Farmington Rd
    Large drive-in and sit down restaurant, closed. Carhops wore skates for a while, in uniforms.

    This Hunts also had a restaurant downtown, at the corner of Main and Adams, in the Central (?) Building. It was on the first or lower floor so that if you were walking along Main towards Adams, you could look down into the seating area of the restaurant. It was only there a year or two, and was only open M-F during lunch. Best hamburgers I’ve ever had.

    109 NE Perry, downtown
    This place was owned by the same family for decades, and closed in the mid-1980’s. It was small, with about 5-7 tables and a counter for maybe 15. Near the front door was the register, next to which was a huge popcorn machine, and a window that opened to the sidewalk. Customers could just order from the window and never go inside. Along the south side of the building was a very narrow driveway that was accessed from the back parking area but I don’t believe this was ever a drive-up window for cars. They were open 7 days a week until 1 am. They were most famous for their popcorn and hot dogs.

    Around the time the place closed there were rumors that somebody was buying up the whole block and planned to build a 30-40 story office/apt tower. Nothing ever came of that, obviously.


    In the same phone book, the Mr Quick was still open on West Main, while the Sandys had all become Hardees. The Sandys downtown was closed. I don’t believe that Mr Quick ever had anything to do with either Sandys or Hardees.

    There are many more chain restaurants in the 1975 phone book vs the 1968 Polk directory from my previous post.

  • Sharon Crews

    Hunter’s, I believe, was owned by a family named Babcock. Bob Babcock was the name of the man I remember the most. I could be wrong–relying on a hazy memory.

  • JL, I feel the same way about chop suey!!!! I am sure it is due to that restaurant, because my parents also would get take out there when I was growing up. Does Peoria have a Chinese restaurant that delivers?

    Sharon, geesh, I’m only 55! I’m still young!!! I figure I’m middle age until I start collecting Social Security and that’s not gonna be for another 10 years. I just pray there’s money left for me then!

  • Sharon Crews

    Wow! MAWB, you are still young–I guess these places aren’t as old as I thought since I’m 71. Speaking of Chinese food. Is anyone old enough to remember the Big 500 (I think) downtown. My parents would drag me them when I was young–and I didn’t like Chinese food; it still isn’t my first choice. The one thing I remember about the Big 500 was the cat that roamed through the restaurant and sat on window sills–nothing something that would be allowed today.
    Hunts was owned by Gordon Hunt. I believe Gordon may have died or was seriously injured working on the roof of the restaurant.
    Then, of course, there’s Kramer’s.

  • Sandys/Hardees was brought to Peoria by Bernie Markowski, Jerry Wombacher,Don Ashley and Bernie Ghiglieri; they sold it for a ton of money and went on to bigger and better things.

  • One of my first jobs was at the A&W on Meadowbrook next to the dairy of the same name, Meadowbrook. Just down from the Sealtest plant on University. Across the street was a Howard Johnson’s, McDonald’s, and the !st Original Pancake House which burnt to the ground. Before Manning McComb (Now Jim McComb) it was trampoline court with something like 50 trampolines.

    Down the street (University) next to Bowl Mor was the Rainbow Rootbeer stand (where Arby’s is now) Across the street from that was Spartan”s Dept Store (spelled natraps back wards) which later became Belscot and down the street next to Shakey’s was Weitz Eatin Time (now Steak N Shake) which is in front of the old Arlan’s Department Store now WMBD and CTWC.

    I worked the counter at the A&W with Danny O’Day (the lawyer) and we had such a huge high school business, we kept clubs under the counter to break up school fights. The curbies never used roller skates while I was there. I still have a stack of the plastic number cards they put on your windshield when they served you.

    How’s that for memory?

  • SD

    New China Restaurant, 3115 W Harmon Hwy delivers chinese food.

  • Em, I think you are making some of that stuff up!! Rainbow Rootbeer? Trampoline Court? I don’t remember any of that! But I do remember Arlans! And I remember Weitz!! How about Gunn’s down by Loucks? A little grocery store that sold tons of candy…

    It’s so funny you mention fights, because my father and I were sitting at Lou’s this evening and he says, “Remember when they used to have fights at these rootbeer stands?” And I was like.. no!! So, here you are making a liar outta me, Em!

    How about when Bogards was at the corner of University and McClure… before D & D was there! D & D used to be across the street from Glen Oak Park…

  • Sharon Crews

    Emtronics: Thanks for the memories–I was probably wrong about the rollerskates–I was probably thinking of Hunt’s or Steak n Shake–someone was on rollerskates. I certainly don’t remember the trampolines. I have one Howard Johnson memory. I was tutoring a pregnant student who wanted to go to Howard Johnson’s–in those days going to Howard Johnson’s from the south end seemed like the end of the world. We got to Howard Johnson’s and she told me that she thought she was ready to have her baby (left before her sundae was served)–scared me to death, but she was calm and calmed me down long enough to get her home. No pregnant girl ever got in my car again. I ate many meals at the Original House of Pancakes. I’ve heard of Spartan’s and Arlan’s but have no memory of ever going to either place.

  • Ed Sanders

    EMTRONICS: Randy, I worked at MeadowBrook Farms Dairy in 1964 and 1965 – worked the store, egg house, the cooler and commercial delivery to many restaurants, lunchrooms, cafe’s and did delivery to various MeadowBrook stores. I ate quite a few meals at the A&W. Also, the road at that time was Big Hollow Road, the name was changed after the dairy was gone around 1970 or so. There was also until the early 1960’s a MaidRite at the corner of Big hollow and University. The Pancake House had a big paddle wheel thingy and was called the Showboat originally. It was also the first Col. Sanders KFC franchise in Peoria until they opened a stand alone place or War Drive a couple blocks down from Alwans. I had KFC for the first time for my birthday when I was 12 or 13 in 58 or 59. Also, does anyone remember Chicken Delight on Prospect near Forrest Hill? Ed Sanders

  • Ed: I do remember chicken delight. I think I remember Meadowbrook being called Big Hollow. I do remember the trailer park that was located down by the Friendly Valley Tap. Gideoseon’s??? Something like that.

    Yes, Jim McComb’s was a trampoline court before it was a dealership because as kids, we used to play in the pits beneath the trampolines. Dan Maloof, who’s house was right next door and behind McDonald’s and I used to get run out of there all the time.
    As for the Rainbow Root beer Stand, yes it was where Arby’s is now and was owned by Cliff Dresbach (sp?). He later added a small dining area to the side of it and served breakfast. I also worked there way back when.

    As for the A&W, it had one heck of a lunchtime crowd and in the evenings, various kids from different schools would show up and almost always a fight ensued. Dee Horan, the guy that ran it while I was employed there, actually kept a pistol in his back pocket. We had small bats or clubs under the counter and would have to use them to break up fights although I never went over the counter, I do remember my friend Jerry jumping the counter late one Saturday night and hitting two guys because they fell over the juke box. Most times, the place was just busy.