A stocky Red Deer building with an illustrious past as the home of the “Colonel Burger” is due to be demolished on Monday.
The old drive-thru Peacock Inn at 3321-49th Ave., has seen several incarnations since the early 1970s. In the most recent, it was rented to a Taco Time restaurant.
Now the owner plans to demolish this aging structure, along with the neighboring building, recently occupied by Reddhart Workwear, to pave the way for the construction of a new five-bay mall.
Owner Cindy Mandrusiak said both spaces are getting old and tired as there is growing demand for the development of new shopping centers on South Hill.
From the early to mid-1970s, the drive-thru at Peacock Inn was the place to go for homemade burgers in Red Deer.
The most popular item on the menu was the Colonel Burger. Town resident Michael Sutherland remembers regularly stopping in with his teammates to get this stacked and mouth-watering treat after football practice at Camille J. Lerouge High School.
With a thousand island dressing, two patties and pickled onions, “it was every kid’s favorite,” Sutherland recalled. “Even after the Big Mac came, it wasn’t the same… not so good.
“You had to buy a colonel hamburger,” he added.
Mandrusiak said she still had people asking her why she couldn’t reopen the drive-thru at Peacock Inn. But the business – an offshoot of the original Peacock Inn his parents opened in 1948 on Ross Street – has had its day.
She doesn’t remember exactly why the South Hill location was closed. His parents, John and Mary Konopaki, owned about 11 local restaurants at the time, including the first Kentucky Fried Chicken between Edmonton and Calgary.
No construction date is yet scheduled for the new linear mall, although four of the five planned bays already have interested tenants, Mandrusiak said. This includes the Taco Time restaurant, which wants to reopen in a new space on the same property.
The approval of the project has not yet received the green light from the Municipal Planning Commission. Mandrusiak said one outstanding issue is the number of parking spaces provided at the site. She expects an MPC hearing to take place in October.
Meanwhile, Bettenson Sand and Gravel is expected to start tearing down Red Deer’s humble landmark next week.
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