Cozy Dog Drive-In offering its own sodas

The Cozy Dog Drive-In in Springfield, Illinois, is famous for its Cozy Dog, reputedly the forerunner of the modern-day corn dog.

Now it is selling four flavors of soda in bottles featuring the Cozy Dog logo. It offers cola, diet cola, root beer and diet root beer. The restaurant announced the new offerings on its Facebook page Friday.

In a text, co-operator Josh Waldmire said:

Larry Tarantolo with USA Craft Sodas is making them for us. […]  Larry contacted me and said he was getting back in the craft soda business and if I would be interested in doing a few lines of soda with him. I thought it was a great idea, and I liked his idea of doing some diet sodas. We have been asked for years if we had any diet bottled soda (RT 66 bottles), but now we do.

He said the bottles will go for $2.20 apiece or $7 for four.

The Cozy Dog Drive-In launched in Springfield in 1946 after its founder, Ed Waldmire Jr., developed the Cozy Dog corn dog while in the Air Force in Amarillo, Texas. Variations on cornbread-coated hot dogs had existed, but they took too long to prepare. Waldmire’s batter coating over the wiener fried in oil allowed it to be given to customers faster. It could be argued Ed Waldmire was the father of the modern-day corn dog.

The Cozy Dog Drive-In opened on Route 66 in Springfield in 1949. Ed’s grandsons have carried on running the restaurant in recent years.

One of Ed Waldmire’s sons, Bob, forged his own path in Route 66 lore by becoming a well-known artist and hippie. Bob became the indirect inspiration to Fillmore in the 2006 Disney-Pixar animated film “Cars” and turned the once-forlorn Hackberry General Store in Hackberry, Arizona, into a tourist attraction before selling it in the late 1990s.

(Image of Cozy Dog Drive-In sodas via Facebook)

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