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Stewart’s Drive-In Vineland Opens 50th Season On March 9th and Introducing “The Backyard”

Stewart’s Drive-In Vineland Opens 50th Season On March 9th and Introducing “The Backyard”
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Stewart’s Drive-In located on Delsea Drive in Vineland NJ celebrates its 50th season this year with an opening date set for March 9th.  

Purchased in 1974 by the Rossanese family… for 2024 son Louis takes over the iconic restaurant and is adding a large child/family play area called “The Backyard” (opening a little later in the season).

The 1950s style drive in restaurant pulls in customers with it’s unique nostalgic dining experience… one which most only see in movies or television shows such as “Happy Days”!

But that has never been enough for the Rossanese family, who also pride themselves on a menu which offers truly delicious food at a great value. 

Likely everyone would agree that the Stewart’s root beer is a big star of the show, or maybe it’s their classic grilled hot dogs… but owner Louis points out that customers give rave reviews to the Vineland Stewart’s hamburgers and cheese steaks, which seemingly would qualify as top contenders in any “foodies” best-of-list.

The hamburgers are a blended brisket beef! Cheesesteaks are freshly sliced ribeye steak, with the Cooper sharp cheese.

And for 2024 Louis is giving their cheesesteaks another upgrade… brick-oven baked rolls that you can only get at Stewart’s Vineland!

That being said, for Louis there is a third aspect to his family’s restaurant that he is most proud of.

Family. Louis speaks very highly of what his mother Maryann has achieved with the Stewart’s restaurant, and what it has meant to him and the entire family.

But “family” also means the loyal customers who keep coming back and saying wonderful things about the restaurant and the family, as well as the staff who all seem to consider their time at Stewart’s Vineland as one of the best work experiences they’ve had.

When I stopped in several young employees where vising the restaurant sharing how much they loved working at Stewart’s, and the fun they have “I loved the water pistol fight last year!”

Louis is proud to say that every single employee they had for the 2023 season is returning for 2024.   Now that’s impressive.

Stewart’s Drive-In Nostalgia Experience

If you are unfamiliar with Stewart’s Drive-Ins, they are famous for the orange colored restaurant buildings which feature a centered smaller kitchen building which is surrounded on all sides by large overhead canopy awnings.

Customers can travel back in time to 1954, simply by driving up to the building and parking under the overhang roof, turning on their headlights to indicate they are ready to order… and having a server come directly to their car to take their order.

Minutes later your hot and delicious meal, along with a cold and refreshing Stewart’s Root Beer or Black Cow, are brought directly to your car and served on an innovative tray which attaches to your car’s window.

“What’s a Black Cow” you say? It’s a a Root Beer Float, combing two amazing Stewart’s treats… Stewart’s Root Beer and a thick vanilla milkshake in a glass mug with a gentle swirl. It’s a drink! It’s a shake! It’s both! Most importantly… it’s delicious!

Stewart’s Vineland is also known to have amazing French fries, cheese fries, onion rings and more!

The Backyard at Stewart’s Drive-In Vineland

Louis gives all of the credit for the success of the family restaurant to his parents, particularly his mother Maryann who ran the classic drive-in for several decades.

But a 2004 article in the Vineland Daily Journal describes a then 26 year old son Louis, who was bringing new ideas to the family restaurant as they celebrated their then 30th anniversary.

One goal at the time was to introduce marketing and giveaway promotions. An e-mail list was started where customers could win a free apple iPod MP3 music player! He also started their first website and even introduced breakfast items!

Fast forward 20 years and son Louis is now the owner of Stewart’s Vineland, and is still full of ideas!

Several small changes took place that most won’t even notice such as reorganizing the kitchen area to create a better flow within the kitchen.

And coming later in the season are additional food item surprises, that I hope to be back to visit and share with readers.

But his biggest idea for 2024 is “The Backyard”!

While the restaurant buildings and parking area sits up closer on Delsea Drive, the family has actually owned additional land behind the developed property. Louis has cleared that space and contractors are currently building it into The Backyard.

He and his wife have young children at home, which became the inspiration for the family play area. Louis focused the concept around things that his children would like… a place that as a father he would be comfortable with them playing at.

While the grass has not been seeded yet, construction crews have already installed some of the equipment including instrument flowers…  which are whimsical statues of flowers which play music.

A swing set is also already in place, and while grass will cover much of the area, the play areas (swings) will have even softer surfaces around them.

A key area for the fun space will be Turtle Island, which will feature a large but safe turtle for children to climb and play on.

Louis is promising a variety of fun activities for kids and families in The Backyard. He shared additional details with me but I think it’s best to leave those as a surprise.. for when you bring your own kids to The Backyard at Stewart’s Vineland… coming later this season.

Or just stop in to experience an amazing meal at the drive-in, just like Richie, Potsie, Ralph Malph and the Fonz did on Happy Days.

Enjoy Happy Days all over again, starting March 9th at Stewart’s Drive-In Vineland. Aaaaayyyyyy!

Links and Location

Stewart’s Drive-In Vineland
584 S Delsea Drive
Vineland, NJ