ELKHART — Hundreds from around Elkhart County came to the Knights of Columbus hall Saturday for a taste of their childhood.
The Shakey’s Night event brought back the familiar taste of the popular restaurant’s fried chicken and mojos, at least for one day.
Shakey’s locations on Nappanee Street on Elkhart’s west side and U.S. 33 in Dunlap closed long ago, but their aficionados’ hunger didn’t abate. Six hundred tickets for the event sold out two weeks ago.
Matt Eppers, son of local Shakey’s owner Joe Eppers, estimated that they served 900 pounds of chicken and about 603 pound of potatoes.
The recipe the Eppers used Saturday approximated Shakey’s’ copyrighted recipes, according to Joe Eppers.
Matt Eppers said the highlight has been so many past employees who have come to talk to them about old times.
“There’s probably not a day in my life somebody doesn’t talk to us about Shakey’s,” he said.
Here’s what some customers said Saturday:
“It just brings back a lot of good memories — a place will bring you back together. They let us come there and be kids.”
“Shakey’s was an every-other weekend trip with my dad ... lots of chicken and mojos and the big-screen TV. They don’t have anything like that anymore.”
“Shakey’s was an iconic part of our childhood. (After) football, basketball games, it was Shakey’s.”
“It’s an institution. Everybody (in Elkhart) knows Shakey’s. (As a kid) I didn’t want to go to McDonald’s; I wanted to go to Shakey’s.”
“My parents used to take me when I was a kid. We would go after church, so I couldn’t wait until church was over.”
“It gives me a chance to catch up with friends that I haven’t seen for a long time.”