PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD) – A Central Illinois staple opened Monday to begin its 54th season.

Cranwill’s Rootbeer Stand, a classic drive-in restaurant located in Pekin on 2nd Street, has been serving homemade root beer and chili dogs for more than five decades. Customers sit in their cars and order at a drive-up kiosk, taking a step back in time.

Loyal customers like Marcene Farley enjoy the locally owned aspect of the business.

“People, out of tradition, like to support local business and they like to come down here because they know it’s a family-run business,” Farley said.

Tony LaHood took over the restaurant three years ago and has carried on the traditions and recipes of the Cranwill family.

“We’ve not changed one recipe since we’ve bought it… we’ve kept everything the same,” LaHood said.

Customer Donald Brocksmith has been coming to Cranwill’s for years. He said the business will continue to thrive in Pekin because of the ownership and great food.

“So long as the product is good, the price is right, and the service is where it needs to be, which from what we saw last year, hopefully, that carries over to this year, I don’t think they’re going to have any problems.”

Cranwill’s is open seven days a week throughout the Spring and Summer months. They offer inside/outside dining, car-side service, and a drive-thru.