Admittedly, I’m both shocked and not too surprised this is happening. Only went there myself once since they opened and you honestly had no idea if or when they were open with the style of restaurant they had going.
“Drive-In-Only, barhop service” was great in the 50s and 60s, but the world has passed them buy. If Sheboygan couldn’t get a Sonic to survive — and they didn’t, it’s now a BP station — how was Gilly’s going to cope without the love and loyalty it has in its Fond du Lac location?
Gilly’s Frozen Custard has closed its 1950s-style drive-in restaurant on Sheboygan’s south side, a spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday.
The family-owned restaurant had been a fixture in Fond du Lac for more than six decades when it expanded into Sheboygan in 2010.
However, restaurant officials said the seasonal, drive-in-only concept, with carhops taking orders and delivering food to customers’ vehicles, and no indoor seating, proved to be a tough sell in Sheboygan’s cooler summer climate.
“Sheboygan is just too close to the lake, and we didn’t have enough business,” spokeswoman Amy Deering said. “We’re very sad. We love the community.”
Deering said the restaurant at 2720 S. Business Drive would normally reopen for the season later this month, though the owners decided to close for good late last year. The location employed two full-time workers and about a dozen seasonal employees.
The property has since been put up for sale, and Deering said they’re hopeful a buyer will emerge soon.
That being said, I’m saddened to see it go. My nieces and nephew who live on Sheboygan’s south side just lost their favorite custard place.