“the coziest dog on a stick in the world”
The Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois is the home of the one and only “Cozy Dog.” The Cozy Dog is a delicious hot dog on a stick that is found nation-wide at many county and state fairs. They are made fresh with our own special recipe batter. In the fall of 1941, I told this story to a fellow student at Knox College whose father was in the bakery business, and then gave it no further thought.Five years later while in the Air Force stationed at Amarillo Airfield, I received a letter from my fellow student, Don Strand. To my surprise he had developed a mix that would stick on a weiner while being french-fried. He wondered if he could send some down that I could try in Amarillo. Having plenty of spare time, I said ‘yes.’Using cocktail forks for sticks, the U.S.O kitchen in which to experiment, we made a very tasty hotdog on a stick, that we called a “crusty cur.” They became very popular both at the U.S.O. in town, and at the P.X. on the airfield. My friend continued to send mix and we continued to sell thousands of crusty curs until I was discharged – honorably – in the spring of 1946. We decided to sell them that spring. My wife did not like the name “crusty curs.” Through trial and error and discarding dozens of names, we finally decided on the name “Cozy Dogs.”Cozy Dogs were officially Launched at the Lake Springfield Beach House on June 16th, 1946.”This story was told by Ed Waldmire Jr. to his son Bob, during an “interview” on January 30th, 1959. Bob was in the 8th grade at the time. After the Cozy Dogs were launched at the Lake Springfield Beach House, Cozy Dogs were introduced at the Illinois State Fair the same year. The first Cozy Dog House was located on South Grand between Fifth and Sixth Street in Springfield. A second Cozy Dog House was located at Ash & MacArthur. In 1949, Drive In was born; built on “Route 66″ South Sixth Street. In 1996 Cozy Dog moved to it’s current location, where Sue (Ed’s daughter in law) Josh, Eddie, Tony & Nick (Ed’s grandsons) continue on with the business right next door to the original location. Featured on Man vs. Food and Food Paradise!
Do you like corndogs? Well how about having one at the place that put them on a stick for your eating pleasure?! The Cozy Dog is a Route 66 icon with vintage cars often parked all around. Get yourself a Cozy Dog! You can thank me later.
This place is not open on Sundays!
Very inexpensive, very delicious food. The corn dogs were great but the fries are where it's at! Also, there's a load of vintage memorabilia around the joint. Tons of photo-ops.
In my opinion, The food was just ok. We were there for the Route 66 stop and were not disappointed. We arrived around 5 pm and The place got packed very quickly. There weren’t any available tables when we got up to leave at peak dinner time.
I've gotta stop at the Cozy Dog and have a corn dog anytime I'm in Springfield. It's important to honor the Ed (and Bob) Waldmire's contribution to singular American fare and their connection to the Mother Road!
Well worth the stop. Good, classic food at fast food prices, plus tons of Route 66 history on the walls to examine. And they invented the corn dog! My family had a blast here.
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Cozy Dog Drive Inn
- Mon - Sat: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
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