Charlies’ Drive Inn to reopen for business

Charlie’s Drive Inn new owners
The public will have another place to eat in Parker when Charlie’s Drive Inn reopens for business at the end of the month. Owner Aric Lowe and fiancé Mandy sit in the corner booth, one of the many things they undated in the building. Photo/Dawn Rye 

Dawn Rye | Writer

Charlie’s Drive Inn had been a staple in the Parker community since the fall of 2000 but in 2015, owners Tom and Linda Gillespie closed the business. 

Recently Aric Lowe and fiancé Mandy purchased the property to bring back family dining and give back to the community.

Lowe, who purchased the business in November 2020, said they are planning to open to the public towards the end of February and will continue to serve broasted chicken, potatoes and ice cream. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Lowe explained they will have naked chicken with no breading, traditional broasted chicken and southern style blend recipe. 

He noted he and his fiancé have lived in Parker for the last four years and moved after they were looking to get out of the Sioux Falls area. 

Lowe stated he was an electrical engineer by trade and there wasn’t much opportunity in the area and he fell in love with the location of the building. He noted since the place survived for 15 years, the previous owners must have done something right. Lowe said the couple has always been intrigued by the various restaurants they’ve eaten at. Lowe noted for the five years he was on the road for his career, there is a wide variety of food choices.

“Not saying it didn’t look hard. It just looks like something we could pull off here,” commented Lowe.

He noted it seemed the town was accepting of the restaurant when it was in business prior. Lowe stated that was one reason why they kept the name “Charlie’s”; however, they are redoing the logo. He said their goal since they’ve installed a flat top grill is to serve breakfast and special dinner items Friday and Saturday nights. 

People interested in applying for a job at Charlie’s should email the couple at awlowe605@gmail.com.

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