Giant Mugs: Frostop Root Beer & Others (page 1)

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The first Frostop Root Beer stand opened in Springfield, OH in 1926. The company expanded nationwide, reaching over 100 locations by 1958. By the 1960s, there were over 350 locations. Some previous known locations include: Birmingham, AL; Kirksville, MO; Bowling Green, OH; Perrysburg, OH; Marysville, OH; and Wood River, IL. In 1954, the chain expanded to the South with the first location there in Jefferson. Three other stands were built in New Orleans with other known Louisiana locations in Baton Rouge (three), Shreveport, La Place, Morgan City, Houma, Harahan, West Monroe, Mandeville, New Iberia, Crowley, and Chalmette. Three were built in Little Rock, AR. There were at least eight stands in Mississippi (Batesville, Hattiesburg, Laurel, Greenwood, Greenville, Picayune, and Jackson where there were two). There were at least two stands in Florida (Jacksonville & Bradenton). In the early 1960s, a stand was built in Winnipeg, Canada and others appeared elsewhere in the Northwest. The chain folded in the early 1980s. However, several stands still survive as shown below and continue to use the Frostop name although they are all independently owned.

It is believed that the rotating mug signs were introduced in the 1954 at the Jefferson, LA location. The sheet metal mugs are about 14 feet tall. I don't believe any of the original mugs had neon. It is not known how many locations had these mug signs. It is also not clear which were originally installed on the roof and which were placed on poles. For more, see this website.

former Frostop
Valparaiso, IN
(now Westville, IN)
Bob's Root Beer
Fallon, NV
The Frostop mug in Valparaiso was originally at a different location in town. That stand opened in 1956 as "Hannon's Frostop". Sometime later, the mug was repainted "Hannon's". The place closed in 1998. In 2001, the mug was restored and repainted "Frostop" when a new stand opened using the original name. That business was short-lived and, by 2005, the stand was replaced with a bank. The First National Bank of Valparaiso kept the spinning sign on its lot. When the bank became the 1st Source Bank, it continued to refer to this location as the "FrosTop branch." However, around 2013, the mug was sold and moved to the Westpoint Lounge in Westville, IN. It is displayed on a pole and has been reworked to resemble a beer mug. [map]

Bob's Root Beer opened in Fallon in 1962. According to one account, the location was previously an A&W Drive-in which opened in 1960. I don't know when Bob's acquired this Frostop mug or if the restaurant was actually originally a Frostop and this sign was already there. Bob's closed in 2006 and the mug was moved here to Top Gun Raceway. These photos are from 2014. For more, see this website.

Greenville, MS
2007: 2019:
By 2007, this Frostop mug was no longer spinning. There was also another sign at that location in 2004 which was gone by 2007. Around 2011, the business moved to its current location. The mug was installed in the parking lot. [map]

Ashton, ID
This Frostop was built in 1965. The giant mug still revolves. For more, see this website. [map]

Salem, OH
Benny's Pizza
Marysville, OH
The Frostop in Salem opened in 1960. The building is still there but the business was closed for many years. This photo is from 2009. The giant mug on the roof was removed in 2019. It is now privately owned. The mug was restored in 2021 and is installed on a trailer. It revolves and is displayed during special local events. [map]

Benny's Pizza has occupied this former Frostop since at least 1996. [map]

former Frostop [gone]
Springfield, OH
This Frostop location opened in 1926. This building was constructed in 1955. The stand last operated as Root 41 Root Beer, a reference to its location on Route 41. The giant mug was removed from the roof in 2005. The stand was still open in 2007 but closed by the time of these photos in 2010. By 2012, the interior had been gutted and the building was in use as an antiques store. In 2014, the building next door began operating as the "Frostop Drive-Thru" selling beer, snacks, animal feed, gardening supplies, and "Frostop root beer floats." The actual Frostop building was fenced off. By 2018, the building had been demolished. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2.

Frostop Drive Inn
Huntington, WV
The Frostop Drive Inn opened in 1959. The original building design remains the same. The rooftop mug was not revolving when these photos were taken in 2012. I was told that the motor would be fixed soon. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Riggen's Frostop
Chrisman, IL
This Frostop opened in 1954. This location features car hops who bring food to cars and the picnic tables. The is no indoor seating. The root beer concentrate is still from the original Frostop supplier. In 2010, a fire gutted the building but they reopened later that year. The bottom photos were taken during the rebuilding. For more, see this website. [map]

Drive In Restaurant
Taylors Falls, MN
The Drive In Restaurant opened as Allan's Drive-Inn in 1956, featuring Frostop root beer. The mug sign was installed in 1963. It came from another Frostop in Hastings, MN which had closed. This mug still revolves. [map]

Frostop & Mugs
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Frostop & Mugs
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Tips & Updates. If you have suggestions about places that I haven't covered, historical info, or updates about places/things that have been remodeled or removed, I'd love to hear from you: