BYRON, Ill. (WTVO) — Sam’s Drive-In, which has been a staple in Byron for decades, announced Thursday that it will be closing for good at the end of this season.

In a Facebook post, owner Shirlee Aldrich said, “As of Sunday Oct 8th at 8pm, I will be hanging up my Sam’s hat for the last time. This has been a hard decision for me to make, but it is the correct one for me at this time. I will miss all my employees (especially ones who still come back to see me with their own families now. I will always consider them my kids) and the many faithful and loyal customers. Thank You for supporting my small family business for all these years!!”

Sam’s, known for its “World Famous Root Beer,” was instantly recognizable to drivers along Il. Route 2 for its 50’s style drive-in restaurant aesthetic and classic 1957 Chevy Bel-Air perched on a 30-foot pole outside.

It was opened by Sam Morrison in 1966 as a Dog n’ Suds and later became Sam’s Drive-In in 1975.

Aldrich’s grandparents started the original Bing’s Drive-In in Rockford in 1952.