John’s Drive In has been around since 1977! John M. Tice, Sr.(Big John) and his wife Pat purchased the property and moved to the Outer Banks from Pittsburgh, PA with their 3 teenagers (instant staff!) Mona, John, Jr.(Little John) and Tina. Big John brought with him lots of experience in the food industry as he was a manager within the Eat N’Park franchise in and around Pittsburgh for many years. At the age of 40 he took his pension, sold his home and brought his family to the Outer Banks where they had been vacationing for many years. 1977 was the start of what has become an Outer Banks tradition with locals and vacationers with Big John creating and serving Tuna and Dolphin Boats served with Pat’s homemade tartar sauce or her fresh made cocktail sauce. Pat also had available and was happy to make you any flavor of malt, fresh fruit milkshake and other tasty ice cream treats. She has mixed up many unique combinations of creamy, delicious milkshake combinations such as Peanut Butter/Banana; Blueberry/Banana; Chocolate/ Strawberry and Hot Fudge/M&M/Peanut Butter-to just name a few!
Big John and Pat were like Ma & Pa to all of their friends and customers including animals. Giving free ice cream to dogs, horses, rabbits, skunks and any other type of pet that you would bring to John's would earn you a "puppy cup." Big John loved talking to and watching his friends and customers as their children were born and grew up over the years enjoying their meals at John's. Those children would grow up and then bring their families to John’s and the tradition was born.
The family lost John, Sr. in 2007 but because Little John had worked there with him for so many years he was able to continue the family tradition and 2017 was the 40th season that John’s Drive In has been serving great food on the beach road in Kitty Hawk. Tina and Mona are helping him keep the John’s Drive In experience alive and available for our customers and friends. John’s Drive In of the Outer Banks has almost 10,000 visitors on social media sites such as Facebook and we urge you to Like our page!
Check out the latest John's Drive in Menu Here!
Come and see why we're still the best, after 40+ years!
You haven't lived until you've had the world famous Dolphin Boat!
We know you're craving one - come get ya some!
We love our customers, so feel free to visit during normal business hours.
John's will be opening for the 2018 season soon. John would like to thank all of his friends, family and customers (especially the little ones and the furry ones☺) for an exceptional 40 years and he looks forward to more!