Sterling, Illinois Sandy's grand opening was on Friday January 19th, 1967. Located at 5th Avenue and 4th Street, this Sandy's was the first of many to open in the drive-in's greatest year to date. Sandy's was built on the now demolished Sterling High School (later Sterling Junior High) and provided the restaurant with ample parking for this area which is on the border of the business district and the city's residential area. Located in the heart of the city itself, Sandy's quickly became a natural place for workers, high school students and residential neighbors to eat.
The beginning of 1967 placed Sandy's with over 120 locations and was now in its ninth corporate year. Sterling was Sandy's Thrift 'N Swift restaurant number 122 and employed approximately 20 to 30 employees which was typical for the business.
Sandy's was built by its founders on a foundation of honest and good management as well as quality product at affordable prices.
When the Sterling location opened, local businesses who participated in the building of the drive-in participated in a large grand opening ad heralding the excitement of this brand new store. Sandy's, who won awards for building design, was excited to announce the arrival of their brand new "Ultra-Modern Drive-In" with its new ultra-modern kitchen!
Sterling's favorite local radio station WSDR AM 1240 participated in the grand opening and as a tie-in Sandy's gave away a free radio to the person who bought hamburger number 1241 for every 1240 hamburgers sold! Sandy's was famous for fun promotions and this day was no exception. Orchids were given away free to every mom and balloons were free for all of the kids just for arriving! In one of the greatest promotions ever, 3,000 popular Sandy's glasses were given away over the three day weekend. These glasses were treasured by those who received them and today can occasionally be found auctioned on ebay on the internet as Sandy's most popular memorabilia item!
Sterling Sandy's, like the majority of Sandy's became Hardees sometime during or after 1972. Unfortunately the Hardees was closed at some point. The location does not resemble the once incredible drive-in as the original building was either torn down or possibly added on to changing it entirely into Hardees.
01/03/2009 ... Sandy's fan Troy Smith wrote;
First of all - GREAT SITE!
I was visiting the in-laws this weekend in Sterling IL, and I took an updated photo of the old Sterling Sandy's site on 405 5th Ave. My mother-in-law's dance studio (Kosier Studio of Dance) is just East of that location. The last photo you have of that location is an old Hardees building that had closed a couple of years back. Well, it is open again as the Valley View Restaurant. Attached are the photos, hope you can use them. On the way back home, we visited Kewanee...my wife for the huge Good's furniture showroom, me so I could catch a glimpse of the old Sandy's HQ. I have a couple of pics of that as well, however my photos look just like those you have already posted.