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Monticello Memories – Bee Dee’s Restaurant, Burgers & Curly Q’s

October 3rd, 2010 by

Every time I head west from the Square down West McCloy Street and make that big turn by E-Z Mart onto North Hyatt my mind goes back to the late 1960s and the mouth-watering food served at restaurant there called Bee Dee’s! (Actually Bee Dee’s sat on the corner of West Gaines and North Hyatt.)

At that time Arkansas A&M (now UAM) was lovingly called a “suitcase college” by many students. This term inferred that nearly all students went home on weekends. No meals were served on campus for parts of each weekend, particularly Sunday evenings. So, on rare occasions, some of us would get together and go to Bee Dee’s for dinner. (No doubt many students went more frequently; I’m just relating my experiences. No car; little extra money!)

My friends and I always ordered hamburgers and Curly Qs! BeeDees’ hamburgers and cheeseburgers were made-to-order and oh, so good, but the “piece de resistance” were the Curly Qs! I recall there was a “peeler” there that cut huge potatoes into long, “curly fries”  when cooked! (As they say on Food Network, those fries were the best thing I ever ate (in my memory) and I have been so disappointed that the curly fries found infrequently in the fast food restaurants today can’t hold a candle to those from Bee Dees! These newer frozen versions neither smell nor taste as heavenly as those from Bee Dee’s. My mouth can almost water thinking of them!)

As best I can determine, Bee Dees dated back to the late 1940s or early 1950s. I’m unsure who the original owners were, but I’ve been told a Sims family owned it in the 1950s. By the 1960s it was owned by James Verlin and Ouida Gladden. The second floor had an apartment where the Gladdens lived until they built a home elsewhere.

BeeDees had an outside pick-up window, but most students preferred going into the small inside dining area. (I remember that it was fairly cool inside in the summer due to a window AC unit and fans.) The burgers were cooked fresh on a grill like the old-fashioned diners. I think they were also pure beef and formed by hand with no fillers added either. (One or two local places still make burgers like that today.)

Bee Dee’s had other typical diner fare in addition to burgers and Curly Qs. Some may remember that Bee Dees also sold delicious pork sandwiches, sodas (Cokes), sundaes, malts, ice cream, etc. You may also remember a vanilla ice cream favorite that came in a cone. The ice cream-filled cone was then dipped in chocolate to make a thin chocolate coating. The creamy delights were called big dips, or Purple Cows, or something like that.

These memories bring back a kinder, gentler time. A series of articles about these long gone eateries of Monticello for our archival records is planned and your help is needed. If you can contribute memories (and especially pictures) on any of these former cafes or restaurants, please call me or jot down your memories and mail them. to the museum. This is important information that should be recorded and filed at our Archives while there are still those who remember.

We should treasure our past because it has made us who or what we are. Life is a story and history is a collection of those stories. Please help preserve our history – and our memories!

4 Responses to “Monticello Memories – Bee Dee’s Restaurant, Burgers & Curly Q’s”

  1. Andy Briant says:

    Very interesting, Mrs. Sheila!

  2. The Burger Meister says:

    Wonderful memories Sheilla. When I was a small child, it was a treat to eat at Bee Dee’s. My family didn’t eat out much and on special occasions we went to Bee Dee’s. My favorite meal was the Hambuger Royale: an open face Cheeseburger with Chili, and curly fries and afterwards, a Dip Cone for desert. I think I remember Ms. Jewell Gladden, but I was very young. There custard ice cream seems better than any I can remember.

  3. Debbie Hyatt says:

    And remember4 the chocolate custard ice cream at the od Anchor Cafe? Only place I remember having chocolate=flavored custard for years and years.

  4. Gail Kizer says:

    Thanks for the memories; as a teenager I spent many hours sitting on that parking lot visiting with friends and enjoying that wonderful food.

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