An Entertaining & Informative Vintage Automobile Internet Magazine

Texas Drive In: 2-J Burgers and Kentucky Fried Chicken

Today’s image, dated 1960, takes us “Deep in the Heart of Texas” to the City of Austin, the State’s Capitol. The view is of a 2-J Hamburgers Drive-In that added a Colonel Sanders Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise to its operation. The 2-J burger chain began operations at some point in the early fifties or before. Tell us what you find of interest in this photo.

View the preparation of 2-J burgers that includes an automated hamburger press. The photograph by Neal Douglass is via The Portal to Texas History courtesy of the Austin History Center, Austin Public Library. 

  • Enlargeable views of the 2-J Hamburgers and Kentucky Fried Chicken Drive-In.

20 responses to “Texas Drive In: 2-J Burgers and Kentucky Fried Chicken

  1. My guesses starting left: 1957 Chevy, unknown, truck, 1958 Chevy, 1958 Chevy, 1957 Chevy, 1956 Ford, 1955 Pontiac, 1950 Mercury, 1951 Chevy, 1958 Mercury, 1960 Corvair, 1959 Rambler stationwagon, 1952 Chevy, 1955 Pontiac, unknown front end.

  2. In the lead photograph, parked in front of the restaurant on the right is a 1960 CHEVROLET Corvair next to a 1051 BUICK, maybe a Special.

  3. Not much past 1960, as the Rambler and Corvair seem to be the newest. I got news for ya’ , I’m sure they ditched the hamburgers, and went full KFC. ( those 2 markets were totally different) KFC, I read, was one of the marketing successes of the century. Also, Dave Thomas, (of Wendy’s fame) worked for KFC before branching out on his own. ( also a rags to riches story) Never really cared for chicken ( for reasons we won’t go into here) but give the family a good meal a reasonable price. The “Colonel” went pretty far with that concept, and survives to this day.

    • Actually a few years after this photo a separate KFC building was built next door to 2-J’s The restaurant continued as 2J hamburgers for many more years. Eventually became a restaurant called EZ’s and was featured in many episodes of Friday Night Lights.

  4. The place is packed! Must be lunch hour. Up near the entrance on the left, a rare `58 Olds Super 88 Fiesta HT wagon! 2-3 `57 Chevys, and a `57 Mercury are among the crowd here.
    Odd that a KFC is combined with a burger joint; and I didn’t think KFC started much before about 1964? What a great drive-in; probably just a parking lot these days.

  5. The extravagant grill guard on the 1955 Pontiac looks like a cattle guard to me. This being deep in the heart of Texas it makes sense.

    • It was a 1955 Pontiac option called “Pontiac Bumper Guard”. Today the originals are very difficult to find and are considered rare.

  6. KFC founded North Corbin Kentucky 1930. Just in time for the Great Depression which suggests they offered value ,to thrive so.

  7. In Seattle, probably around the same time, Gil’s Drive In on Capitol Hill (hamburgers) took on the Kentucky Fried Chicken Franchise. As I recall, it went exclusively KFC later.

  8. I suspect franchises were not exclusive back then. They just wanted franchisees to sign on! Today the franchisers spell out every last detail of how you do business and you better buy everything from them!

  9. It is tough to be sure, but I think the “unknown” to the left of the pickup truck is a ’53 or ’54 Dodge.

  10. Don is correct. That is a ’51 Merc entering the parking lot. Exiting looks like a ’55 Pontiac. Nice Rambler in front.

  11. Curious, J2 buyers, never heard of it before but it is surprising that they are counting the number sold which I always thought was a McDonald’s thing?

  12. 2-J ‘s was owned by local man, Ralph Moreland. Great little burgers for a good price . He added KFC , then later had to build a separate building for it on the same property. Is burgers were awesome … great place to go as a family. He also owned other restaurants… Holiday House was a great place offering charbroiled burgers, salads , breakfast, fried shrimp, fried and grilled chicken and other fare for many years. There were several locations for these restaurants in Austin. 2-J’s and Holiday House were here before we had McDonald’s ! He also had Convict Hill restaurant .. serving a bit fancier and full course dinner menu! It was a sad day when these places closed!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note: links to other sites are not allowed.