Business Details

Cafes and Restaurants: Archie's Dairy Bar

This history of Archie's Dairy Bar appears on a plaque affixed to a bench in front of 216 South Main, and is used with  permission of the owner. 


Former Proprietors at this Store Front of Archie's Dairy Bar

Archie's Dairy Bar was one of Lusk's Main Street popular establishments during the fabulous '50s. Local business persons gathered at the Dairy Bar for their daily coffee-shop talk. It was a favorite place for kids before or after a lazy summer afternoon at the Lusk Municipal Plunge or after a 10c Saturday matinee at Pete Meier's Wyoming Theater.

High "Schoolers", dressed in oxfords, penny loafers, bobby socks and rolled up jeans sat in Archie's red booths or on swivel stools at the fountain counter. They chose between chocolate and cherry cokes, a variety of flavored "phosphates " and ice cream sodas or enjoyed Archie's famous Jersey Calf, a delightful parfait glass of Kilmer ice cream, chocolate syrup and malted milk topped with a sprinkle of chopped nuts.

In 1958, Archie's "Juke Box" played '45's while girls swooned over the Everly Brothers', "All I Have To Do Is Dream", and the guys listened to "Bee Bop" and "Rock N Roll" such as "Great Balls Of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis.

Several high school girls worked part time at Archie's Dairy Bar as "Archie's "Coffee Club Girls". They served a varied menu that included broiled burgers made with freshly ground hamburger from Mr. Riley's grocery store. Archie's menu included sandwiches, coffee and featured fresh donuts baked at McKnight's Bakery. Before leaving, patrons generally could not resist buying a sack of hot cashews or satisfy their sweet tooth  with a treat from Archie's large selection of candy bars. Archie also introduced  the sale of the newly-developed Polaroid Land Camera and stocked one of the largest selections of magazines and comic books in the area along with knick-knacks, gifts and premium cigars, and Russell Stover Candies.

Archie's Dairy Bar gained local and national notoriety on a cold and eventful day, January 28th, 1958. Warnings were broadcast to a stunned nation of a killer at large in Nebraska, After hearing the news, Archie contacted law enforcement as he realized the person he had seen in the Dairy Bar was Charles Starkweather, a 19 year old serial killer who had murdered 10 people in the "Cornhusker State" before fleeing with his 14 year old girlfriend, Caril Ann Fugate. The cowardly murderer was a self-proclaimed teenage rebel who likened himself to a he character portrayed by actor James Dean in the movie "Rebel Without a Cause."

The last meal Starkweather ordered and paid for himself was at Archie's Dairy Bar. He left Lusk that fateful day and his killing spree ended when he was apprehended near Douglas, Wyoming after murdering his 11th and last victm. Charles Starkweather, the "Yellow Rebel', was sentenced to death and executed June 25th, 1958. 

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Lauer, Arthur (04/26/1920 - 02/19/2002) View Record
Property 216 S Main View Record