10/02/2009 ... Sandy's historian Troy Smith provides another shot of Sandy's on Eldorado - this time a stellar shot of the great Sandy's sign from 1972. This appeared in the Decatur Business Journal (Sept 2009).
03/20/2009 ... Sandy's fan Troy Smith provides a newspaper clipping of Sandy's East Eldorado grand opening!
Sandy's Decatur locations are legendary. Originally there were only to be four Sandy's, one for each of the original founders. Word got out as to the incredible business that Sandy's was doing and people were begging to buy into the drive-in as franchisees. Sandy's Decatur (East) 1147 E. Eldorado, was Sandy's # 5. Sandy's Decatur (West) 1080 W. Eldorado was Sandy's # 72.
Sandy's Decatur East most likely opened in 1959 while Sandy's Decatur West most likely opened in 1964. All three Decatur locations remained Sandy's after the Hardees buy-out in 1973!
Sandy's fan Harold Dean remembers Decatur Sandy's!
If memory serves me right, in 1965 after being discharged from the army and living in Decatur Illinois with my wife and children we used to go to the Sandys on Eldorado Street for hamburgers at 4 for a dollar!
Sandy's fan Thomas J. Wood remembers Decatur Sandy's on Eldorado and provides important historical information regarding this location which, along with the three other Decatur Sandy's, did not change to Hardees in 1973!
When I was a freshman at Millikin University in Decatur in 1976-1977 I ate a few times at the Sandy's at 1080 W. Eldorado. It was still called Sandy's and was the larger walk-in design -- just like the pictures of the one in Iowa City on your website.
I don't remember much about the food (except the really good milkshakes) but I do recall that the glassy building, even with the heat of the grills, was incredibly cold in the winter!
I think the place closed sometime soon after 1977 and was replaced with the inevitable Hardee's.
Thomas J. Wood
University of Illinois at Springfield
Sandy's fan Irtys Miller remembers Sandy's in Decatur -
I can rember going to SANDY'S in the early 60's I do believe. It was at the corner of Eldorado and JASPER in Decatur Ill. I think that the building is still there and it is a chicken leg place.
07/31/2009 ... UPDATE from Sandy's fan Troy Smith
I found some info today on Decatur East. Attached are photos of articles about the fire that destroyed Decatur Sandy's/Bucky's East on Saturday, April 15th, 1978 at 5 a.m. (FINALLY - a date!), courtesy of the Decatur Public Library via microfilm of the Decatur Herald & Review newspaper. The microfilm images were in poor shape, so I recreated them.
image 1 is from the evening paper - 4/15/1978
image 2 is from the morning paper - 4/16/1978
image 3 is from the morning paper - 4/18/1978
If you have any memorabilia, pictures or stories of Sandy's in Decatur, Illinois or elsewhere, please email me!