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Bites Nearby: Richard's Drive-In

Vintage style meets quality fast food in this week’s pick.

The menu may be small at Richard’s Drive-In but despite that fact, the Forks Township restaurant has a strong local following -- patrons know that Richard’s is the place to go for quick service and good food.

Richard’s Drive-In is mostly about grilled and fried foods, like burgers, cheesesteaks, French fries and onion rings. Gyros and pierogies are about as exotic as it gets, but if it sounds like the fare is a bit mediocre, consider that a smaller menu means a more fastidious approach.

“Everything that we use here is brand-name, [and] top-notch,” said owner Angelo Papageorgiou. “Our beef is grade-A, and all our produce [comes] local.”

The “top-notch” approach -- fortunately -- does not bring "top-notch" dollars. Not a single menu item tops $6, and combo meals average between $6 and $10. 

Richard’s Drive-In in Forks Township is reminiscent of a 50s-style diner, with its orange walls, the vintage Coca-Cola signs, and the red-and-gray booths; however, the restaurant manages to look classic without being gaudy or tacky.

In fact, the vintage look is part of the design; this location on Sullivan Trail is actually fairly new, having opened in 2007. The original Richard’s Drive-In, found across town on Freemansburg Avenue, opened in the 1950s. Papageorgiou’s father, Jimmy, and two other partners bought the business in 1966.

Forty-five years later, Angelo runs the Forks location with two partners, one of whom is the son of Theodore Kastrinakis, the original owner.

Angelo took over the business in 2007, just as the Forks location was opening. The décor of the second spot was fashioned to mimic the original.

“At the other restaurant, it’s all hot dogs, burgers, cheesesteaks… at this one, gyros are more popular,” Angelo said regarding the local tastes. “They’re both unique.”

Richard’s does take-out or eat-in at one of eight indoor tables, or one of three outdoor tables -- complete with sun umbrellas. The restaurant serves up Hershey’s hard ice cream, whether it be in a sundae, cone, milkshake or mixed with candy pieces to create a “blast.”

Richard’s Drive-In is located at 1550 Sullivan Trail in Forks Township, and is open seven days a week; Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. During the winter months, the restaurant closes at 9 p.m. daily.

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