ARGOS - Argos native Mike Scheetz has been around business his whole life including food and soft water.
It was no surprise when a closed drive-in at the north end of Argos caught his eye.
Scheetz said, “It has been inactive for five years. It opened in the 50’s. It was called Potter’s then. Later it became Eby’s and then Beemer’s. The last two years I got serious about re-opening it.”
When asked why he decided to do this, his voice softened as he looked up at the Bulldawgs sign, “This is my hometown. This drive-in has been closed for 5 years. It is a part of my life. Part of me grew up here.”
The story actually began back in the 50’s, before Scheetz was even born.
Mike’s father, David Scheetz, played basketball for the legendary Tony Hinkle at Butler University.
Then, as now, they were known as the ‘Bulldogs’.
Last year Scheetz wrestled with the idea of what to call his beloved diner when it came to him to name it in honor of his father.
He made the slight change of ‘Bulldogs’ to ‘Bulldawgs’ to give it more style.
Bulldawgs had a soft opening late last year.
“I was not nervous before our first day. My philosophy is just do it. Move forward and see what happens.”
According to Scheetz it did happen.
The diner was packed Wednesday night on the warm, late summer evening.
A line was at the order window and under the canopy was full of cars, many of them vintage thanks to the Hoosier Old Wheels Car Club.
President of the club Mike Fitterling was there with his wife, Jan.
He remembered fondly the Sunday night hula hoop contests and the jukebox.
Jan compared it to the song from the movie ‘Grease’ “Summer Nights” sung by Olivia Newton John.
She went on to say, “It was old cars, fellowship and food.”
The other couple sitting across from them agreed.
Richard and Marilee Holderman drove their 1960 Falcon from Bourbon.
They were glowing as Morgan Dunlap, a Senior from Argos, served them in their vintage Ford.
Laughter and camaraderie followed this couple as they made their way about the drive-in.
Though 37 members of the car club enjoyed the unique slice of Americana, a constant stream of visitors from Argos and nearby made their way to the drive-in.
A mother and grandmother at a nearby table enjoyed sandwiches and root beer with the kids Kaelyn, Elaina, and Benton on their last night of summer vacation.
Scheetz hopes that the drive-in remains into the 2050’s.
“I love being here. I see people from Argos I haven’t seen in years.”
His attitude and love for his business is reflected in his employees, who say they love working for him at the diner.
Scheetz said, “I close when the weather gets bad in late fall.”
Ever the innovator and optimist, Scheetz hopes to open a couple days a week even then.
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