Casey’s confirms purchase of Barrel Drive-In

A mid-November closing date has been set for Casey’s General Stores, Inc., to close on the Barrel Drive-In property located on Highway 18 West, in Clear Lake.  The property was listed at $398,000.   -Reporter photo by Chris Barragy

After months of speculation, Casey’s General Stores has confirmed it is in the process of closing on the purchase of the Barrel Drive-In property on Highway 18 West.

According to James Pistillo, vice president of accounting and treasurer for Casey’s General Stores, Inc., a mid-November closing is expected.

Pistillo said it would be premature to discuss any plans for the property.  He also would not disclose the purchase price.

“We believe it (the property) fits, from a location standpoint, in line with our overall corporate growth strategy,” said Pistillo.

The property was listed with a local realty firm for $398,000.

Barrel Drive-In owner Seth Thackery closed the business in 2016 after an attempt to rehabilitate and revitalize the historic restaurant.

In July 2014, Thackery went public with the very real challenges he was facing to keep his business open.  He received an overwhelming response from customers and others wanting to help.  The offers provided some sunlight to what had been a gloomy situation, according to Thackery.  During his public appeal for assistance, Thackery received a $75,000 Business Makeover award

The Barrel Drive In was built and opened in 1958 by Jack Christensen.  Edward and Lois Kotz purchased it in 1959.  In 1959 and the early 1960’s, radio station KRIB broadcast live from the booth on the roof of the restaurant.  During those years, the Barrel was a popular “hang-out” spot for teenagers.

The original Barrel was a small cement block building.  Carhops went out to cars to take and deliver orders.  The canopy was added in the mid-1960’s and the electronic ordering system in 1970.  The first dining room was built in1975, and the second dining room was added in 1991.

Thackery started working at the Barrel at the age of 14.  He leased the business for two years from former owners Deb and Tom Lincoln.  The Lincolns had owned the business since 1998.  Thackery took ownership in January 2008.

The Mirror-Reporter attempted to contact Thackery; he did not respond.

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