By Mary Stafford
Special to The Roanoke Times
Longtime residents of the New River Valley may remember the “old” Cloyd’s Mountain Road, a twisted stretch of asphalt that made Virginia 100 seem like a near-certain death trap. In the late 1990s the mountain received a face-lift that changed the entire landscape and straightened out those tight turns. One landmark that survived the massive road project was Jim’s Drive-Inn .
The drive-in is nestled at the base of Cloyd’s mountain. The concrete block building is painted with faded turquoise trim that gives the restaurant a nostalgic roadside feel. The term “drive-in” applies to Jim’s only in the loosest sense. Diners “drive in” to park their cars, but must walk inside to place their orders.
Inside the diner, handwritten menus on white poster board hang from the windows . The handwriting has faded from sunlight, creating a sense that this is a place time has forgotten. A few booths and tables line the narrow front room for customers who choose to dine in, but all orders are prepared to-go all the same .
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