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Bummie’s Drive-In opens for the 2023 season

BLUFFTON, Ind. (WANE) – Bummie’s Drive-In officially opened Wednesday for the 2023 season as cars were lined up around the famous restaurant to get their hands on its popular burgers.

The drive-in opened at 11 a.m. and local residents pulled up in their cars during their lunch breaks with many of them excited for the restaurant’s return.

“I’m really excited for their return. I made sure to come here today on my lunch break,” said Burk Evans, a Bluffton resident who’s been eating at Bummie’s for six years.

Evans enjoys the burgers at Bummie’s and said the employees are always really nice.

His favorite item on the menu is the Bummie burger, one of the drive-in’s most popular items.

“I’m not a big fan of their nachos or onion rings,” he said.

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Many of its employees have been working there for a long time. Christina Barnes, a car hopper for Bummie’s, has been working there for more than 30 years. She said she enjoys working there and that the owners are great people.

Cars line up at Bummie’s during its opening day on March 15. Credit: Joe McQueen

“I like that it’s stayed the same over the years and there hasn’t been any significant changes,” she said. “It’s been owned by the same family since 1962 and has been passed down to the younger generations.”

She added that it feels great for Bummie’s to reopen again and the fact there is nice sunshine on opening day makes it even better.

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“You go all winter without seeing the same customers and it’s great to finally see them again,” she said.

The popular menu items are the Spanish Dogs, which are Coney Island dogs, and of course, the Bummie burger. She said customers also like the breaded tenderloin.

She likes that Bummie’s gives people some nostalgia and is a seasonal place where people get to know them.

The wait for customers Wednesday was about 20-30 minutes. Sara Leverton, who’s been a car hopper for Bummie’s for about 13 years, said there are customers who will wait as long as two hours to get food and are willing to do so.

“We are a staple in this community and typically get hundreds of people during our first day,” Leverton said.

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She said all the employees work together really well and that they’re like a family since many have been working there for years.

The drive-in’s customers aren’t just Bluffton residents, they often get people from across the region who make trips to the city to go to Bummie’s.

“We get customers who will make plans to come here,” she said.

As reported by WANE 15