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Vintage “Googie” Neon Sign Beautifies Lexington, KY

Large pylon sign fitting throwback for car-diner restaurant.



I spotted this sign while I was in Lexington, KY conducting the 2012 International Sign Contest. This sign proudly identifies the Parkette Drive-In on East New Circle Road, which was built in the 1950s, and was restored in 2008 to its former glory — including the epic neon sign that features a supersized carhop and "moving" vehicle — by brothers Jeff and Randy Kaplan.

Famous for its fried chicken and "Poor Boy" hamburgers, the Parkette captures the carhop experience first offered by founder Joe Smiley in 1952, as well as pinball machines and a jukebox inside. Kudos to the Kaplan brothers for making the restoration of this Googie style a part of the Parkette’s renaissance.

Ruggles Signs’ general manager Tim Cambron, who assisted with the Sign Contest’s proceedings, said the shop built the original sign.



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