Iconic Ohio drive-in chain Swensons plans Indy-area debut

Keywords Avon / Restaurants / Retail
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Founded in Akron, Ohio, in 1934, Swensons Drive-Ins is a restaurant chain that takes orders and serves meals at customers’ vehicles. (Photo provided by Swensons Drive-Ins)

An Ohio fast-food icon is launching a restaurant in central Indiana as its first location outside the Buckeye State.

Founded in Akron in 1934, Swensons Drive-Ins will host a “start-of-construction cookout” celebration 5 to 7 p.m. Monday in the parking lot of a Costco Wholesale store near the intersection of Rockville Road and North County Road 900 East in Avon.

The first 100 cookout attendees will receive a complimentary double cheeseburger from a Swensons food truck. Swensons plans to open at a Costco outlot, 8816 Dr. Charles Nelson Drive, this fall, a spokesman said.

The Avon restaurant will join 19 Swensons locations presently open in Ohio. The company does not franchise its restaurants, and a spokesman said Swensons hasn’t formalized Indiana expansion plans beyond Avon.

Swensons was selected in June by Reader’s Digest as home of the best hamburgers in Ohio. (In the same report, Bru Burger was selected as tops in Indiana.)

Forbes selected Swensons as “America’s Best Burger” in 1999, and Akron native LeBron James has spoken publicly about his affection for the restaurant on multiple occasions.

No indoor dining is available at Swensons restaurants, where curb servers take orders and serve meals at customers’ vehicles.

Menu highlights include the signature Galley Boy, a double cheeseburger accented by two secret sauces, and more than 15 milkshake flavors.

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6 thoughts on “Iconic Ohio drive-in chain Swensons plans Indy-area debut

  1. Ok, Indy is gearing flooded with chicken and burger joints, I would like to see better restaurants with a better menu selection. If I was to vote for a burger joint to come to Indy, I would advocate for whattaburger out of Houston. Now that’s some good eating…..

  2. My wife and I attended the event in the Avon COSTCO lot Monday evening, August 15th. Swenson’s is to be commended. When ‘way over 100 people showed up well before 5:00 PM (we were among them), they quickly ran out of free tickets. So they just gave everyone a free Galley Boy all night long! They were good. We weren’t there the whole time, but they announced that if they ran out of food due to the turnout, they would give the folks remaining a coupon for a free Galley Boy when the restaurant opened. ‘Can’t beat that…and it was a tasty hamburger, too.