This is part of our continuing coverage of the 60th anniversary of WRBL. As we share the stories of some of the personalities who graced our airwaves over the years, we thought it would also be appropriate to recall some of the history of our city.
We are doing that by re-airing some of the "Remember When" stories produced by News 3's Phil Scoggins over the past several years.
Today we focus on a popular Columbus eatery called The Goo Goo.
The AFLAC duck is recognizeable all over the world. But there was another famous duck in Columbus history that dates back to 1934. It was called the "Goo Goo."
It was the icon for a restaurant and drive-in on Linwood Boulevard owned by Albert Snipes.
The story goes that Snipes heard a radio personality who had a duck as his sidekick. The duck would sign off the program making the "goo goo" sound. Snipes thought that was catchy and decided to use it as the name for his new business venture.
The first Goo Goo restaurant opened in 1934 in a street car on the corner of 10th Street and 6th Avenue. In 1937 he upsized to a house at 17th Street and 3rd Avenue. Then in 1940 he built the Goo Goo Restaurant and Drive-in on Linwood Boulevard.
The restaurant menu included southern fare. One of the best sellers was a steak sandwich that sold for 25 cents.
The Goo Goo customers included some high-ranking appetites. Lamar Beck, a friend of the owner, says, "President Roosevelt ate there sometime in 1941 or 1942. Dwight Eisenhower ate there several times."
The Drive-in was a popular spot for teenagers, especially students from nearby Jordan High School. Ralph and Jessie Mitchell dated there in the late 1950's. In fact, it's where they met.
Jessie recalls, "He came over to the car and started talking to me." They struck up a relationship that led to a marriage that's lasted over 50 years.
The Goo Goo burned down in March of 1965. Mr. Snipes decided to get out of the restaurant business. He built a car wash instead and kept the name Goo Goo.
Lamar Beck's family bought the car wash in 1972 and thought about changing the name. Beck says, "After being down here three or four weeks, I realized what a catchy name it was and what a landmark it was, so we decided to keep the Goo Goo and I'm glad we did."