Sandy's, 29th Street and Seneca, Wichita, Kansas

Sandy's, 29th Street and Seneca, Wichita, Kansas

Chuck Kerls from Wichita Kansas has become a legend. He has provided pictures of the second Sandy's building still known to exist! This location was Sandy's which switched to Hardees followed by Bosley tires. With minor restoration, one can see that it is ready to go as a Sandy's! Outstanding!

and another angle!

For comparison, here is a picture of Sandy's in Peoria, Illinois in the late 1960s. This is the second to last version of the classic Sandy's drive-in building as it had morphed from a walk-up to sit inside and eat dining. The fins are still visible retaining the classic Sandy's image!

Here is what the original late 1960's Wichita Sandy's prototype sign looks like today in February 2005. Next to it for comparison is the Geneseo, Illinois sign on the day which Sandy's was gone forever.

Chuck also discovered that the original tile is still under the now white-washed walls! He wrote this photo is of the wall on the south side of the original building where it was painted over. The paint is wearing off and you can see the original tile that Sandy's used! The plaid bleeds through!

Sandy's fan Chuck Kerls was not only fortunate enough to remember Sandy's in Wichita, Kansas, he also worked there! Sandy's opened two of their early 1960's locations in Wichita and became a favorite of the area. By 1968, Wichita had quickly exploded to seven Sandy's serving the city. Chuck also found a classic unique piece of memorabilia from the 29th Street & Seneca location!

I just found your threads on Sandy's Hamburger Drive Ins. We had one in Wichita Kansas on South Seneca in the late 60's. While I dont have any information as to who owned them, I did work for them for a short time in high school. I remembering working for Sandy's in 1965 and in particular I remember the potato machine. Sandy's had what many considered the best french fries and this machine was a sander belt that you put the potatos on before they were cut into fries. I also remember how bad you smelled when you got off work! I guess that was when I decided that I was not cut out for fast food.

If my memory serves me correct there was a location at Kellogg and Woodlawn which I think was the oldest location in the Wichita area, but that building has long been torn down. There was also a Sandys at Douglas and Grove and that was the busiest in the town as it was where the drag took place in Wichita. The cruise was from Sandy's west on Douglas to Main Street, go around the block and cruise back east to Sandy's again. That was where most of us met the girls we dated!

I never forgot the great memories of Sandy's and just a couple of months ago the business that took over the building when Hardees closed gave me an original parking lot sign that hung on a pole in the lot for 50 years! It reads ...

15 MINUTE CUSTOMER PARKING

NO LITTERING

LOITERING

ALCOHOL BEVERAGES

STRICTLY ENFORCED

SANDYS MANAGEMENT

It sure brings back memories of a simpler time!

Here is the sign. This sign hung on a pole at the Sandy's at 29th Street and Seneca right here in Wichita for many years, most likely from the mid 60's. The sign painter was a local and I have talked to his son and he thought it was 1964.

The Sandy's building became a Hardees and when Hardees closed it became Bosley Tires. They were in the building for several years. When Bosleys closed I asked Mr. Bosley for the sign and he told me that if I could get it down it was mine! The sign is rusted and the letters are bleached but it is a neat sign to have and it now proudly hangs in my kitchen!

The building itself stands empty at this time.

Chuck Kerls

Chuck also updated with the following; here is another little bit of information for you regarding the old Sandys Building on south Seneca here in Wichita. Just this week the building has been sold and I have talked to the new owners and they are going to use it as an office and warehouse. The good news is that they have no plans to change the outside of the building at all in fact I told them about the wood that had been painted and they may even restore the wood. I will keep you posted if I get any more information. Also attached is the photo of the Sandys at Douglas and Grove appx 2400 e. Douglas in Wichita. As you can see it looks nothing like the Sandy's building.

10/21/05 update.... 3006 South Seneca. That location has been destroyed and is now a Sedgwick County building. The original building there was a Sandy's converted to a Hardees, and then torn down. The downtown location at 201E. Douglas was torn down years ago, in fact I think that it never was a freestanding building but I will check on that. The 5207 E. Kellogg was at Kellogg and Woodlawn and it is now a car lot and has been for many years. The Ken-Mar location at 4601 E. 13 th Street which is 13th and Oliver is long gone and is now a Quick Trip. Then location at 1909 E. Pawnee is currently a Burger King and the building does not look like a Sandy's. I will, however, get by there in the near future and make sure that nothing of the original building exhists. I dont have a clue about the 9111 West Central location but in the future I will check it out.

Regards Chuck Kerls

Chuck Kerls is not the only one who has great memories of Sandy's in Wichita. Curt Baltzley is not only the outstanding sports copy editor of the Houston Chronicle, he is also a Sandy's fan. He wrote....

I was reading a newspaper story about Hardees, and I remembered that they took over Sandy's. I worked at Sandy's in Wichita, Kansas in the late '60s before going to Vietnam. Our Sandy's looked just like the one atop your web site except while I worked there, they built a store front so the customers could get out of the elements. The Sandy's buildings had a really cool design. Like you said, those were fierce burger war days. Our competition was McDonald's and Griff's (remember them?). Hey, there's another nostalgia web site! P.S., I still have the '65 Mustang I bought while working at Sandy's…Thanks for the memories!

Curt Baltzley, sports copy editor at Houston Chronicle.

Dave Lester not only worked at Sandy's but was promoted to manager of one of the Wichita locations!

Dave wrote... I worked in the Stillwater, OK Sandy's from the age of 16 through 20. At one time, I was the youngest employee in the place, but had been there longer than anyone else, including the manager! I also worked at the Sandy's of Douglas, Inc (I think that was the name) in Wichita, KS during my management training... and the Sandy's Downtown location in Wichita. I then managed the Sandy's of Seneca, Inc. in Wichita, KS (Senaca and Payne streets). Not all happy times, but for the most part, I have fond memories! I can't wait to share this site with some of the guys I worked with! Good memories! I could tell some stories, but it would take some bandwith. Keep this site growing!

UPDATE!!! 06/03/06... Here are recent pictures I took of the former Sandy's hamburger building on S. Seneca. It still stands!

Some original small tiles are showing through the paint. The interior shot shows a familiar sight if you take away the automotive stuff. Also attached is the current sign.

Glenda Campbell

Great Job Glenda and you are correct, the interior appears to be close to the original. Even though the paint on the outside has been changed, THE PLAID STILL BLEEDS THRU!!!! It appears that Bosley Tires has now switched to XADO and the blue roof fin trim of the old Bosley layout is still in use. The incredible part is the new fin color of red is similar to how this location most likely looked as Sandy's!!! Now to remove the paint from the beautiful wood beams that hold up the roof fins and we are ready to go! Incredible! Thank you for the update Glenda!

We need some help here! If anyone knows the answer to this, please email me!

Awesome site!

I was born in 1962 in Wichita, KS and lived there through 1978.

Great memories of Kip's Big Boy, Sandy's, Griff's, Sonic Drive-In, A&W Drive-In, Toc's Coffee Shop, and Henry's Hamburgers (and Peter Pan and Mister Swiss in nearby Derby, KS).

Hoping you can help answer a question.

If you are familiar with the Wichita, KS of the late 60's-early-70's, there was a big department store (kind of what would pass for a Target today) called: "GIANT." Across the street from GIANT, was a hamburger restaurant with a space-age theme, painted mostly orange.

I'm wearing myself out trying to remember the name of that place. They may have had another location near Twin Lakes.

I seem to remember the logo featuring a young boy with a space-suit on with a big glass bubble for a helmet over his head.

I keep thinking of names like "GALAXY BURGER" or "ASTRO BURGER" but none of them sound right.

Any idea?

Or maybe some person or website that might know?

If you have any books to recommend, that might be helpful, let me know, too.

Thanks in advance,

Mark

Sandy's fan Timothy Williamson has the answer!

Mark was asking the name of a hamburger stand near the old Giant store in Wichita Kansas with a space type theme. I believe it was on Hillside street near Pawnee Ave, not on Oliver St. which is where the Giant was located. The name of the burger stand was Sparkies. The people that lived behind, and still do, my parents were the managers of it for a year or so. It was located next to the OK Tire store.

05/09/2007 Sandy's fan Terry Vaughn remembers Sandy's on Pawnee!

Hi, Great website about Sandys, It brings back good memories. I hadn't seen anything about Sandys in ages so your site was a very interesting find. I would like to chime in with my 2 cents.

Chuck Kerls writes on your page: Sandy's, 29th Street and Seneca, Wichita, Kansas:

"Then location at 1909 E. Pawnee is currently a Burger King and the building does not look like a Sandy's. I will, however, get by there in the near future and make sure that nothing of the original building exhists."

Here is the scoop on that location:

I've lived in Wichita all my life and grew up in the '60s about 2 miles from this Sandys and ate and drove by there many times with my parents while living at home. It switched over to Hardees I think around '72-'74. The Sandys building actually sat back from Pawnee street some because there was a Taco Pete restaurante that sat closer to the street. The Taco Pete restaurante which had originally been a gas station, had been in business for at least 20 years when it closed in December 1995. A couple or so years later, the Taco Pete was demolished along with the original Sandys/Hardees building and a totally new Burger King was built on the spot where the original two buildings had been.

Thanks and keep up the great work - I love nostalgia don't you?

Terry Vaughn

09/13/2008 ... Sandy's fan William Quincy writes;

Hi Terry, I've lived in Wichita Kansas all my life a 1965 Grad of Wichita South High School.I have fond memories of "Dragging Douglas" from Sandys at Grove and Douglasto the "Continental" just past Douglas and Seneca. I drove a 1960 Triumph TR3 a car so low that at every stop light we would set our Sandys cups on the street like our own personal end table then pick them up gain when the light turned green and continue on down Douglas. I've just completed the restoration of a TR3, and wonder if any Sandys drink cups have survived. I would love to have some for my display.

11/23/2008 .... Interesting website. I had forgotten about Sandy's.

Someone on the website said they were born in Wichita in 1962 and remembered Griff's Burger Bars. I went to college in Wichita from 1960 to 1965 and I'm thinking Griff's had disappeared by the time I graduated in 1965. But I could be wrong. In any event, could anyone born in 1962 actually remember Griff's?

There were four locations for Griff's in Wichita and I remembered Griff's Burger Bars sponsored the "Pick Hit of the Week," in 1959 and 1960 on KLEO, the dominant top 40 Wichita radio station from 1958 to, I believe, the early 1970's. (I worked for KLEO as night announcer in the early 60's, first as Charlie Brown, then as Charlie Kent.

Do you have any idea what the 4 locations were? Seems like one of them was on West Street.

Charles Frodsham ckfrodsham@nckcn.com

11/25/2008 ... Yes, I remember going to Sandy's drive in's often as a little kid, also listening to KLEO radio !! Was there a DJ in (maybe the mid-60's)named "Harvey"? I believe the Griff's restaurant signs had a little guy on them and the lights blinked so it looked like he was running. Seems like maybe he was wearing a chef's hat. Taco Pete's had the BEST "taco petzas" a deep fried corn tortilla with hamburger, tons of cheese and green and black olives. YUM !! I wish I knew how they prepared that meat. - Candy

11/25/2008 ... Hi Candy, I left KLEO and Wichita in June, 1965, so if there were a "Harvey" he either came along later, or I've just simply forgotten.

Some of the other DJ's during the time I was with KLEO in the early 60's were Ric Marshall, Marc Alan, Jimmy Christmas (and when he came back from six-months of Guard duty, Paul King, his real name), Jerry Munday, Don B. Williams, Bob Freeman, Buddy Van Cleve, Stu Adams, and Billy O'Day who went on to fame, and, I assume, fortune, as Charlie Tuna on the air in Los Angeles.

KLEO was the dominant Top 40 radio voice in Wichita from May, 1959 (in an earlier post I think I said 1958) to around 1978 when the station dropped the music format (as FM was starting to penetrate the market), and changed call letters, for a brief time, to KWKN, and instituted a talk format.

I'm sure some other folks viewing this website could add some names of KLEO DJ's from the 1960's. - Charles Frodsham (formerly Charlie Brown and Charlie Kent)

01/12/2009 ... Sandy's fan Dave Houchin remember Sandy's on Seneca!

Howdy, I started on the counter at Sandy's on Seneca the summer of my sophomore year at Wichita South High, 1967. Every time it slowed down it was time to "comet the counter." Soon moved to the grill. Would get so hot, we would sneak a break in the walk-in freezer! Every day at lunch time the "hi-lo" man would drive on the lot for one "hi-lo" to go. Always had it ready. He would walk in, pay and leave. No wait. Didn't Sandy's have a Big Mac type sandwich with cabbage instead of lettuce? I left for college in '70 and moved to Los Angeles in '75. Never saw the place again.

Best wishes. Dave Houchin

01/18/2009 ... Candy was inquiring about a disk jockey named Harvey on KLEO. I can assure Candy she has a good memory because Harvey, known as Uncle Harvey, was on KLEO in 1967. And to Charles Frodsham, I too remember Griff's Burger Bars, but can only remember the locations of two of them, the one on West Street, that Charles also remembers, and another one on East Pawnee. They were a regional chain and spent a lot of money advertising on KLEO. Oh, yes, I do remember Charlie Brown on KLEO, too. Griff's Burgers were also popular in Denver when I was there many years ago, so you can imagine my surprise to discover recently that one of the last original Griff's is in Denver on South Broadway, just a block or so north of I-25.

Stu Seibel (aka Stu Adams, formerly with KLEO)

01/25/2009 ... What a great website, keep up the good work!

As to the inquiry on the Griff's locations. I know there was one just west of the corner of 13th and Oliver, it was a little north and west of the Kenmar shopping center. It sat just north of what is now Furniture on Consignment and just south of the old Munger station post office. It was really in an odd location being off of the main drags of Oliver and 13th. Sandy's was about a block south of Griff's on 13th and the Varsity drive-in, which was also great place to get a burger and fries, was just east of Sandy's. The Varsity was a big hangout back in the 60's. My sister had a 66 Chevelle and used to cruise there all the time.

I was born in 1957 and grew up around the 45th st. and woodlawn area and am very familiar with the northeast side of town. I have 5 older siblings so I got to know a lot of the "burger joints" in that part of town. I sure miss those days. I remember my dad, on occasion, sending one of my sisters to either Griff's or Sandy's, to grab a bag full of burgers for the family when my mom was too busy too cook. Of course, they always wanted to go to the Varsity to check out who's there.

Another good radio station back in the 60's was KWBB. They played rock and roll and competed with KLEO.

The other places to drag, along with Douglas was 29th st. north between Oliver and Woodlawn and Webb road between 13th and Central. Both of these had nice rises in the road so you could see down hill a little in case there were any cops waiting for you.

Hang on to those memories!!

Larry Winfrey

02/18/2009 ... Carolyn Randall wrote;

Sandy's: I believe there was a Sandy's next door to North High School on 13th St. That location was taken over by Hardee's. North was a closed campus, those days, at lunch time. We felt very wicked when we snuck across the street to Sandy's. There was also a burger joint across 13th called Jack's North Hi Carryout. The guy who owned that place did not want any high school students in there at lunch time (go figure) because that "scared away" his regular clientele.

Griff's: I have some trivia to contribute about Griff's Burger Bar. The store was designed by the father of a friend of mine. He liked "walls with holes". A distinctive wall outside the building was a solid cement wall with rounded-corner square holes. This guy also designed one of the park shelters at (?) Sim's park. This had the similar "walls with holes" design, and had an undulating, accordian-type roof. My friend's father said that he designed it that way because he believed that kids would find a way to climb on the roof, and he might as well make the roof safe. The park shelter was slightly below ground level, and the roof extended beyond the shelter to the level of the surrounding earth. Thus, a fall from the roof would be a short 3 feet, or so, onto soft earth.

KLEO DJ's: My favorite was E Alvin Davis, who was there from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s. He was still broadcasting in 1971 when I graduated from North and left town. Years later, I ran into Al on a message board where I am a moderator. I told him what a thrill it was to connect with him, again, after all these years.

Carolyn

03/16/2009 ... Sandy's fan Jan Warkentin wrote;

Hi I saw this website and like you had to respond. I grew up on Sandy’s wonderful food. I went to the one that was over by 31st Street. Most of South High students went there for lunch most every day.

I happen to have a double set of playing cards that have Sandy’s logo/advertisement on the back of the cards. I have never played with them they have just sat in a drawer.

I also remember Griff’s burgers, do you remember them?

Well just had to respond to this as it is something I remember too. - JAN

If you have any memorabilia, pictures or stories of Sandy's in Wichita, Kansas or elsewhere, please email me!