Fairbury, IL – Many years ago there was a little drive-in restaurant in Fairbury on the corner of First Street and Route 24 that was called RD’s Drive-In. Run by Ted and Ruth Doran, it had an extensive menu, for the time, of sandwiches and deep fried foods that were popular, or became popular then, and an assortment of other treats that fit the “drive-in” venue. This small kitchen, somewhat elevated above ground level, with the parking canopy and window service became renown as a local “go to” staple and the food they served was outstanding. Unfortunately, time had it’s effect and eventually Ted and Ruth retired and RD’s wasn’t able to be maintained as the giant fast food chains became more prominent for the up and coming younger generations. However, none of these newer food factories had anything close to that original menu of RD’s that had become so popular with us locals and the memory of that experience has lived on with many of us.
Sally Goembel, the driving force behind Lost in Time, worked for Ted and Ruth back in the day and she credits that experience for having ignited her inspiration for the restaurant business. Sally’s expertise and innovative creativity has brought her Lost in Time restaurant (200 East Locust St in Fairbury) to it’s own brand of fame with it’s unique menu, special events, and customer friendly atmosphere. It’s decor reflects the history of the building they are in and the dining experience is far from routine with their specialty soups, salads, and sandwiches coupled with a regular dinner special on Monday evenings as well as special theme dinners that are the occasional “extra treat”. Add to all of that an outstanding breakfast service and a bakery that does it all and you’ve got something special as so many of us can attest to.
As a tribute to the Doran’s and RD’s, Sally has instituted an annual “back to the past” day at her restaurant and they call it, what else, RD’s Day. Setting Lost in Times regular menu aside for the day (there will be limited breakfast menu from 7am to 10:45am) they will be serving the favorite foods from the memorable RD’s Drive-In menu from 11am to 8:30pm. This includes the serving fashion of that original atmosphere along with a decor that is reminiscent of those times. The Burgers, pizza, super, and doubles, will be available along with hotdogs, tenderloins, and chicken sandwiches, all prepared pretty much just as they were back then. Add to that the deep fried mushrooms, onion rings, and French fries along with coleslaw and potato salad and you won’t find it hard to reinstate those old memories (or, for you newbies, create new ones) of that famous (now infamous) RD’s appetite sweet spot. Further memorable inspiration can be drawn from the cold treats that include rootbeer floats, 7-up freezes, orange freezes, banana shakes (and others), dipped cones, sprinkle cones, and bakery items all of which creates a nostalgic dining experience that’s well worth having. There is plenty of seating with the main restaurant and the banquet room for inside dining, and, if the weather is permissive, there will also be outside seating. Its memorable, its fun, and its a lot of good eating so come on up to the corner of Fourth and Locust in Fairbury on Friday, June 17th and have a lunch or dinner (or both) that will either remind you or show you why RD’s became such a “household” name back in their day. See you there in the historical “good eats” section!