Fitz’s was originally just a drive-in hamburger stand in the Saint Louis suburb of Richmond Heights and the root beer for which they were known was first brewed in 1947 to be served along with the burgers and fries.
In 1993 Fitz’s was reborn in an old bank building that in the 70’s and 80’s had been home to the Lantern House Chinese Restaurant — another favorite dining spot of the Castaways that was renowned for its classic Chinese banquets for parties of twelve.
The interior went from faux imperial China to faux fifties art deco.
And a circa 1940 bottling line was added so the diners could watch their favorite beverages being bottled as they dined.
The start of the bottling line … the bottles are then filled and capped.
And then flipped and given a bath to wash off any overflow. Since the bottling line can turn out a bottle of soda every second the bottle movement in the photo is somewhat blurred. In addition to the classic 1940s root beer, Fitz’s also bottles a full line of retro sodas.
But enough of the manufacturing end … it’s time to taste the product.
Naturally, some of the Castaways immediately turn to this page of the menu …
Voilá! I created a quick Summery Chicken Stir-fry.
Unfortunately, I didn’t realize my hand was casting a shadow on the plate until well after I had eaten everything on it. The plate, not my hand.
Stir-fry was just chicken tenders with red and yellow pepper strips, celery, onion and garlic served over chow mien noodles. A couple of queen-sized stuffed olives added a salty accent and fresh ripe red cherries a bit of sweetnes s… and a Fitz’s Root Beer as a cool beverage on the side. A perfect fast finish to a day filled with yard work.
It’s cool, quick and delicious! Fresh thick-sliced home grown (Arkansas) beefsteak tomatoes that completely fill slices of toasted wheat bread, cool midget watermelon wedges, a bottle of Fitz’s, Saint Louis’ favorite root beer and a half finished daily puzzle.