The legacy of Griffith’s Drive-In dates further back than the restaurant itself. It is a legacy that follows the Griffith family for the better part of a century, and is just as much a part of the City of Griffin, as it is a part of each Griffith.
From 1942-1950, Rollin Griffith Sr. worked at Ward’s Drug Store managing the lunch counter (better known as the soda fountain). He regularly made items like ham sandwiches, milkshakes, and fountain drinks. The things he learned there, he carried over into his own business, a drive-in called The Spinning Wheel. From 1950-1953, Rollin Sr., Lucy (his wife), and Rollin Jr. (his son) ran the Spinning Wheel. Rollin Sr. passed away in 1953, and until 1955 Lucy, Rollin Jr., and Norma (Rollin Jr.’s wife) ran the drive-in.
After a brief time away from the restaurant industry, Lucy and Rollin Jr. opened a lunchroom in 1957 on the corner of Broad and Experiment Streets. The location gained it the name “Griffith’s Triangle Lunchroom.” The lunchroom had 14 successful years before they sold it to the Gatlin sisters in 1971. After selling the lunchroom Ms. Griffith retired, and Rollin Jr. worked for Maxwell Brothers Furniture Company until 1975.
In 1975, Rollin Jr., Norma, and their son Jeff bought an A & W restaurant on Highway 16. By 1977, the A & W had become Griffith’s Drive-In. In 1984, the Griffiths welcomed Jeff’s wife Laurie into the family and the business. Rodney Stroud joined the Griffith’s staff in the same year, right before graduating Griffin High School. In 1989, ownership of Griffith’s passed from Rollin Jr. to Jeff and by 1990 there were 3 more little Griffiths (Micki, Rusty, and Jessi) growing up in the restaurant industry.
In April of 2001, Griffith’s got a facelift and a new building on the opposite end of the property to accommodate the growing business, and also debuted a new eat-in side to the restaurant. Shortly afterwards, Griffith’s started offering breakfast. In 2011, Griffith’s began offering catering services.
Today you can still find the hamburgers, hotdogs, fried chicken, steak sandwiches chili, and slaw that has made Griffith’s a household name in these 30+ years. You can sit and have the best glass of sweet tea in the city, and enjoy a slice of Mrs. Norma’s homemade pound cake, coconut pie, or buttermilk pie that will satisfy the fiercest of any sweet tooth in the south. You’ll find yourself suspended in time, serenaded by the jukebox, drinking a hand-dipped and spun milkshake, and plenty of southern hospitality and charm to spare.
You can find a Griffith there almost any time the doors are open. Come in, sit, and chat for a spell, we love to have company!
Welcome to the family, y’all!