January 31, 2014
by Sue Gleiter
Its Bunny Burgers and milk shakes have fed generations of diners.
The Red Rabbit Drive In at the crossroads of Routes 322 and 11 and 15 in Reed Twp. is celebrating a half century of business. The restaurant officially opens today, Jan. 31, for its 50th season.
Part of the charm rests not just in the menu of old-school favorites like vanilla Cokes and burgers, but in the fact the Red Rabbit - except for the prices - has remained unchanged. Diners still pull up their cars, crank down their windows and wait to be served car-hop style.
"I would say quality and service. Those were the two things my grandparents had focused on since the beginning, which we try and continue," said Sam Berger, co-owner.
Three generations have overseen the Red Rabbit, started by Berger's grandparents, Sam and Maggie Snyder in 1964. They opened at the former Distlefink's Ice Cream and Sandwich Shop just above the Clark's Ferry Bridge off of Route 322.
Back then the Bunny Burgers were priced at 55 cents and the thick milk shakes at 35 cents. The Bunny Burgers, now $5, are served with hickory smoked bacon, melted cheese, shredded lettuce, tomato, pickle and a secret mayonnaise sauce on a poppy seed roll.
The fries, sprinkled with “Bunny Dust” and the shakes, made-to-order in either thick or regular, are other fan favorites that keep Red Rabbit regulars coming back.
The Red Rabbit has always operated as a seasonal stand, closing in December and January during the off-season.
Berger said the restaurant typically reopens the first weekend in February but with the Great American Outdoor Show kicking off this weekend at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex, they decided to push up the opening by one weekend.
He is anticipating a busy weekend between the show and the weather forecast, as well as the fact diners just like to make the return trip after the hiatus.
"We have a heat wave coming. Forty degrees," he joked. "We think we are going to have a great weekend."
It's open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Phone is 717-834-4696
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