Since 1953, The Port Drive-In has been serving hot dogs and frosty mugs of creamy, old-fashioned root beer. Originally called Studman’s, it was purchased in 1957 by Elsie & Virgil Gassoway, renamed the Snack Shack, and then renamed to its current name, The Port. In 1978, Terry & Beth Gassoway purchased the business from Terry’s parents after managing it for them for several years. In 2017 Terry and Beth decided it was time to pass the torch and sold the Port to Zig & Iris Skrzypczak who along with their children Rebeca, Olivia, and Ethan continue to follow the original recipes and traditions.
Although the menu has evolved over the years to include over 100 items today, the root beer (which is still made on the premises) and the chili dogs (which are still made using Elsie’s original recipe) are still the signature items. Other specialties include giant, half-pound hot dogs, burgers and tenderloins, “mouse ears”, great shakes, root beer floats, and Green River–a 50’s favorite. The menu also includes Italian beef,grilled chicken sandwich or wrap, two different vegetarian “burgers , and enough fried options to satisfy your “County Fair”cravings!
The air-conditioned dining room or picnic tables appeal to some, but most still prefer the uniquely American experience of dining in their car! No faceless speaker boxes,instead friendly carhops to take and deliver your orders. To experience a bit of Chesterton’s past, visit its very own living history museum–The Port Drive-In. The way it was, and still is. Porter County’s only Drive in restaurant.