Helena drive-in celebrates 75 years of serving its community

RB Drive-in
Posted at 6:17 PM, Oct 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-10 20:17:56-04

HELENA — The RB Drive-in opened its doors for the first time in 1948. Since then, a lot has changed over the last 75 years, and this popular drive-in has remained a staple of the downtown Helena community.

Nestled between Helena Ave. and East 16th St., the root beer stand has been a strong staple in the Capital City for decades.

Co-owner of RB Drive-in Anne Brooks, who grew up in Helena, knew this place was special to herself, and the Helena community.

"It's an iconic spot that people remember when they were younger. They used to come here, so it's full of a lot of memories and they're very excited that it's still here," said Brooks.

The RB Drive-in has gone through some changes over the years with management, repairs, and new menu items, however, one thing that's been consistent, the community around them.

"We get a lot of people who come back, a lot of people have worked here when they were younger in the fifties, and they also have met their spouses or, you know, they'd cruised the drag or went to middle school across the street. It's definitely something that they can think back on and they're happy it's here, and it's the oldest drive-in here in Montana," said Brooks.

Another constant is their classics, which have been around since the 1940s.

"The fish and chips and the porkies. That's what people like, and they love them, and they won't change them. Even though, you know, diets change, nutrition changes, they still come back to the staple. It's still comfort food and it's really great," said Brooks.

As the world continues to change, the RB Drive-in tries to stay the same place that people in Helena have loved for years.

"I think that it just has a lot of reflection of people's emotions," said Brooks, "things as they grew up, things have changed, but this is still here. A lot of things change in your life, but it's nice to walk into, drive by, or walk by and see the same staple in the community that's been here a long time."