American Idle: 12 Weird & Wonderful Drive-Thru Businesses


Keep both hands on the wheel when visiting the World Famous Climax Drive-Thru, located on the north side of US 22, five miles east of Hwy 66 or four miles west of Hwy 981 in Congruity, PA.



Offering paying customers a slightly skewed view of life on the road – through a diamond-shaped window, no less – the Climax Drive-Thru closed in 2009 and its sign was auctioned off (for a bargain $670) in 2013. Credit Flickr user djmendez and One Foot Tsunami for these images.

Book ‘Em



The Westerville Public Library in Westerville, Ohio (a suburb of Columbus) wants book-borrowers to know they can return their copies of Tropic of Cancer, The Cat in the Hat or The Five Chinese Brothers via the convenient drive-thru book pick-up & return window. That goes even if you and your good-time buddies left drawings of pee-pees and wee-wees in said books, though such antics certainly aren’t recommended. So return your library books on time; there’s no reason not to… slip up, and you can expect a midwestern version of Lt. Bookman to be all over you like a pitbull on a poodle.

Say A Little Prayer



Film cameras may be history but the drive-thru concept lives on, giving new hope to hundreds of former Fotomat kiosks looking to be re-developed, pun intended, into new businesses. A prime example is this compact drive-thru prayer booth located across the street from The Main Place Christian Fellowship, a Southern Baptist congregation in suburban Los Angeles. Besides free prayer, flowers and bibles, the booth dispenses free 16-ounce bottles of water – we’re not sure if it’s holy water or just wholly water.




Stanford Hospital (part of the Stanford University Medical Center) aims to be ready if and when a pandemic or bioterrorist attack occurs – isn’t that reassuring? Known as “social distancing” (better get used to hearing that), the concept involves people driving into a triage station to be checked out. Should further testing and/or treatment be required, drivers would be directed to a nearby parking garage where doctors would continue evaluating patients through their vehicle’s rolled-down window.