The iconic Atlanta fast food drive-in the Varsity on North Avenue in Midtown turned 90 years old this month, and they’re throwing an epic party on Saturday, August 18 to celebrate. All individual menu items are just 90 cents. The birthday bash includes the Varsity’s satellite locations in Norcross, Kennesaw, Dawsonville, and Athens. When the car hop asks the famous question, “What’ll ya have”—the answer is the heartburn-inducing chili cheese slaw dog and a frosted orange to drink. Don’t forget the antacids.
The event, slated to kick off at 10:30 a.m., is likely to be extremely crowded as people scramble to score a one-off deal on the Varsity’s already affordable food menu. The metro Atlanta-wide birthday celebration at the original North Avenue location features a DJ, photo booth, and photo ops with a fire truck and team mascots from Georgia Tech, the Hawks, and the Braves. Food is first-come, first-served.
Frank Gordy opened the Varsity in Midtown in August 1928. It’s now the world’s largest fast food drive-in and has become one of Atlanta’s biggest tourist attractions. It’s hard to miss the enormous, neon red ‘V’ stationed high above the North Avenue bridge while traveling through town on the Connector—the 7.5-mile stretch where I-75 and I-85 merge in Atlanta.
Over its 90 years, the Varsity has served several presidents like Jimmy Carter, George H. Bush, and Barack Obama and movie stars such as Clark Gable. The restaurant’s Facebook page is filled with fans listing their go-to orders when visiting Atlanta, Baby Boomers reminiscing about first dates at the Varsity, and the occasional tale of late-night food runs in college.
Listen to Gordon Muir—Gordy’s grandson and current president of the Varsity—talk about the restaurant’s history.
Saturday, August 18 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.