Meet the meat: Cook-Out backs up Charlottesville artery
"They can wait," barks the man directing traffic in the parking lot of Charlottesville's newest fastfoodery as he directs this reporter to pull up and thereby block a vehicle trying to exit. "I've got cars," he explains, "out on the road."
Indeed, in the days since North Carolina-based Cook-Out opened at the former site of Long John Silver's, it's been the rare mealtime when cars didn't block, or at least slow, the traffic on Emmet Street, Charlottesville's central vehicular artery.
Arteries carrying blood may find that they too could get blocked if the staples of Cook-Out– mostly various forms of grilled meats– remain too popular for too long. Still, the quiet launch on Monday, March 19 was a pretty snazzy debut for a site whose over 60 marked parking spaces and room for a snake-line of about a dozen or more cars in the drive-thru lane no longer suffice for the food cooked within.
"Everyone's happy for the Cook-Out," says City planner Read Brodhead, who approved the signage and the red roof. "Cheap burgers and milkshakes."
Indeed, when a reporter made his second visit shortly before 2pm that first Saturday, the act of scooping up four trays worth of burgers, including eight mostly meat-based side-items and a trio of Cheerwine floats, brought a tax-included bill of just $21.27.
While Charlottesville Police spokesperson Ronnie Roberts reports no complaints about the traffic, there's yet another queue inside the building. This one– of Bodo's proportions– snakes through the interior like the tapeworm that might be needed to pare down the calories from a visit.
"Finally, a place that sells old-fashioned hamburgers, hot dogs, onion rings, and thick chocolatey milkshakes," exclaims the Mom's Diner blog.
But planner Brodhead– even though he's heard happy raves from a City Hall colleague– says he'll stay put unless there's some sort of zoning violation.
"I'll probably never go to Cook-Out," says Brodhead, "because I'd rather get a greasy burger somewhere else."Read more on: Cook-Out restaurant