Monday, October 16, 2017

Let's Eat! - Reid's Drive-In

Reid's Drive-in is one of those places that people in Lockport expect to be open every summer and offer the same kind of foods year after year. The menu at Reid's has not changed a whole lot over the years, which no one seems to mind. There is a location near Buffalo, but Reid's will always be a Lockport thing. There is even a Reid's food truck that brings everything to those very small parts of Lockport that may have not experienced Reid's just yet.
This week's eatery: Reid's Drive-in
Address: 150 Lake Avenue, Lockport, NY
Phone: 716-471-0701

Reid's refers to itself as both a burger restaurant and hot dog joint, but to anyone who has ever lived in Lockport, it is just Reid's. The question "Hey, you wanna go to Reid's?" is as much a part of a Lockport summer as illegally swimming in the canal (yuck) or watching the fireworks at Outwater Park. But how does a business like Reid's survive so long in a world that loves constant change? The success of Reid's is a masterstroke in how to run a business, and it is a formula that has not changed since the day the place opened.

The service at Reid's is lightning fast. I guarantee that if you timed 10 orders at Reid's and 10 orders at McDonald's, Reid's would deliver orders faster at least eight times out of 10. Not only that, I have never had the kids at Reid's screw up my order, ever. That is something no other fast food joint in this area can say. They have their own language at Reid's, and every Lockport resident can speak that language. We all know what a burger with a slice is, and we all look forward to a red hot with sauce. That language has allowed Reid's to deliver food quickly and accurately, which makes customers happy.

Reid's is a cheap lunch or dinner out for a group of any size. While I rarely pay the same amount for the same order twice in a row, it is always a lower price than I was expecting. I honestly expect Reid's to be cheap, so I have not read the menu in years. All I know is that I can take myself, my wife, my son, and my two grandkids to Reid's for a summer lunch and I am always surprised at how little I pay.

Reid's has excellent milkshakes, french fries, hot dogs, and a bunch of specialty items that you cannot find anywhere else. I have been going to Reid's for as long as I can remember, and almost nothing about the place has changed. The building has had a little remodeling done to it, but the food and its presentation is exactly the same as when I was a kid.

Reid's has plenty of charm, but some of it could use a little sprucing up. Let's be honest with each other - the dining room is a mess and extremely uncomfortable during the hottest parts of summer. The restrooms could use a coat of paint, and there should be a sign warning people to stop feeding the seagulls when others are trying to eat. I do like how quiet it is in the outside eating areas at Reid's, but I usually eat in my car for a lot of reasons.

All that being said, Reid's is a success story that will be around Lockport for a long time. There are very good reasons why it is always busy, and there are also good reasons why Reid's is one of those places you either love or hate. Most people love Reid's, and those who don't should really try a Reid's milkshake to see what they have been missing.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

George N Root III loves food and loves local restaurants. Follow him on Twitter @georgenroot3, or send him a message at