The company originated with a drive-in restaurant called "Parkette" in Charleston, West Virginia. Alex Shoenbaum opened the restaurant in 1947, then acquired a Big Boy franchise in 1951. Two years later, Shoenbaum renamed the Parkette "Shoney's Big Boy." During this time, Ray Danner was building a restaurant business in central Tennessee and opened his first Big Boy franchise in 1959 in Madison, Tennessee. He incorporated his privately owned company in 1968

Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, Shoney's, Inc., is one of the restaurant industry's most respected companies. As of 1998 the restaurant chain operated or franchised over 1,300 restaurants in 34 states, including Shoney's, Captain D's, and the Pargo's and Fifth Quarter specialty restaurants. The company owned 893 restaurants and franchised 494 others.




Baked Potato Soup

The Machine Shed Restaurant Recipe

2 1/2 pounds baby red potatoes, quartered
1/2 cup uncooked bacon, finely diced
1 jumbo onion, diced
1/4 bunch celery, diced
2 quarts milk
1 quart water
4 tablespoons chicken base
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup margarine or butter
3/4 cup flour
1/4 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup whipping cream

shredded Colby cheese
fried bacon bits
chopped green onions

In large pot, boil potatoes in water 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. 

In a large heavy pot, saute the bacon, onion and celery over medium-high heat until the celery is tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the mixture from pot, drain bacon grease and return mixture to pot. Add milk, water, base, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture is very hot, about 8 minutes, stirring often. Do not let mixture boil. 

In a small, heavy saucepan melt margarine. Add flour and mix well. Cook over medium-low heat until mixture bubbles, stirring 2 to 3 minutes to make a roux. While constantly stirring soup, add roux slowly until soup is thick and creamy, about 4 minutes. Stir in parsley, reserved potatoes, and cream.  Garnish with cheese, bacon bits, onions or all three. Serve hot.

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