In late 1967 or perhaps early 1968, Mattoon, Illinois, Sandy's opened to great fanfair on the main business street known as Lakeland Blvd. Such was the incredible response to Mattoon Sandy's that on October 9th, 1968, Sandy's opened a sister store some ten miles away at 315 Lincoln, Charleston, Illinois which was store number 162. It was operated by the Batchelder company who owned various Sandy's including stores at Freeport, Burlington, Ft. Madison, Mattoon, Charleston, Centralia. Plus the company at the time was soon to locate stores in Dixon, Mt. Vernon, Keokuk, Austin (Minnesota) and Belgium!
Charleston is the hometown of Eastern Illinois University and instantly became a huge hit with the college students as well as the entire city! Sandy's quickly became the place to go for the local college kids, after university games and various concerts in 1970 including Three Dog Night, Steppenwolf and the Cowsills who were the influence for the Partridge Family television show!
Sandy's hit a grand slam locating the restaurant on Lincoln Highway which is the main artery running through town and fourth street which is just blocks away from the University.
Sandy's opened on Wednesday the ninth and followed the opening with a three day grand opening on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, giving away prizes including balloons for the kids. The ever popular Sandy's glass was given away free with purchase of a shake or a 50¢ purchase!
The previous picture is an actual photo of the Charleston location with the new Sandy's signage and build-out. The following image is from one of Charleston's twins in Peoria, Illinois and is shown for comparison of what the location looked like. These were known as the third generation buildings and were beginning to be replaced in 1973 with a completely different style called the mini and the maxi.
In April, 1973, Along with ninety percent of the nations Sandy's, Charleston flipped to Hardees when the corporation was bought out by Hardees. Reaffirming its huge success and influence on the community, Sandy's was referred to as "popular" by the local newspaper on the day it switched.
Notice that on the opening day picture, the front right fin on the right hand side of the screen reads "Sandy's" on this brand new third generation Sandy's building. Observe on the welcome to Hardees picture that the same Sandy's panel has sadly been popped and removed. These pictures appeared on the opening and switch dates in the Charleston Courier-News and are used here for reference.
If you have any memorabilia, pictures or stories of Sandy's in Charleston or Mattoon, Illinois or elsewhere, please email me!