Dear Call Box: In the 1960s on Atlantic Boulevard across from the Atlantic Drive-In Theatre, there was a hot dog restaurant. I need to know the name of that restaurant.
Dear A.P.: The restaurant was Uncle Joe’s Drive-In. We turned to Dorothy Fletcher, a retired English teacher and former Times-Union columnist who wrote the book “Historic Jacksonville Theatre Palaces, Drive-Ins and Movie Houses,” for the answer. For a segment on the Atlantic Drive-In, Fletcher interviewed Jim Webb, who had fond memories of the Atlantic. Afterward he and his friends would go to Uncle Joe’s.
The restaurant was best known for its foot-long hot dogs for 25 cents, he told Fletcher. It also had curb service in the back where the lights were dim, and guys parked to be alone with their girlfriends. A blue building that once housed a plumbing business and a seafood restaurant now stands in its place while Publix occupies the drive-in site, which was at Atlantic and Bartram Road.
The Atlantic, by the way, opened in 1936 and was Florida’s first, according to Times-Union archives.
Dear Call Box: Can you tell us the timeline for having the water meters replaced in Constitution Cove in Jacksonville Beach? Also, when are they going to fix the sidewalks? They’ve been broken and blocked off for months.
Concerned Residents, Jacksonville Beach
Dear Concerned Residents: Blame Hurricane Irma for a two-month delay on the project. Over the summer Jacksonville Beach installed new service lines from the main water pipe under the street to residents’ homes. Then the storm hit followed by the cleanup, said Robin Smith, public works engineer for Jacksonville Beach.
Work recently resumed to remove the old pipes, Smith said. The sidewalks are being repaired simultaneously. The work is expected to be completed by the end of January, he said. Once the sidewalks are replaced, the streets will be resurfaced.
“We’ve been talking to a lot of residents and thanking them for their patience,” Smith said.
Dear Call Box: I receive numerous Christmas and other greeting cards from various charities when they are soliciting for donations. Since I purchase my own cards, I don’t need these, but I don’t want to throw them out. I believe there are others who would also be interested in donating similar cards. Are there organizations that could use them?
Dear M.A..: There are indeed others who wonder what to do with the unsolicited cards. The Teacher Supply Depot is one organization that accepts used greeting cards. The depot, which is at 3108 Lenox Ave., helps teachers stock their classrooms. For more information call (904) 381-7480.
Another option would be to contact a daycare center to see if their kids could use them for crafts or to practice their cutting and scissor skills.
Memories: Ah, nostalgia. In response to readers’ questions, we’ve written about the Springfield area along Main and Eighth streets several times. Bill Brannen wrote to add his comments about the area near where he lived in the 1940s. He and a friend went to Setzer’s every Saturday with their Red Flyer wagon and waited for people to come out with their groceries. The budding entrepreneurs charged them a nickel a bag to take them to their homes. Near Setzer’s was a bowling alley where he and his friend worked during some summer months. He also recalled the nearby Capitol Theatre, a pool hall and a barber shop with its trademarked striped pole.
“Those were the good old days,” he said.
Submit questions by calling (904) 359-4622 or mailing to Call Box, P.O. Box 1949, Jacksonville, FL 32231. Please include contact information. If you have a picture to offer with your question, feel free to send it.
Sandy Strickland: (904) 359-4128