Article By: Chelsea Cornwell
Photos By: Josh Trig
Remember the ‘good ole’ days’? Way back when we could, innocently, go to the drive-in restaurants where all the boys and girls would get gussied up, make sure their muscle cars were waxed and gleaming in the light of the sunset. There were neon signs and good old-fashioned food along with a bar service and sweet innocent summer fun.
That is the very esthetic that Backseat Bar and Grill in Winchester, Virginia gives off. When you first walk up, you pass a vast amount of outside, fenced in patio seating, while inside there are vibrant red booths, high-top tables with classic bar stools and retro car signs hanging on all of the walls. In the very center is an oval bar that looks like it came straight out of a time machine and landed here from the post-war celebration that was the 1950’s. In all of its glory, the modernization of this very nostalgic landscape with 10 jumbo flat screen TVs that include Sunday Ticket for all you football lovers out there and a stage for live music every weekend, makes it easy to see that this isn’t your classic joint, as it is universally appealing to all things modern.
For those that love a wonderful bar, Backseat Bar and Grill will not disappoint; with domestic bottled beers (Budweiser, Bud Light, Coors Light, Michelob Light, Michelob Ultra, Miller Lite, Miller Genuine Draft, Bud Light Aluminum, Busch N/A, Natural Light) as well as a variety of draft beers (Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller Lite, Hefeweizen, Michelob Ultra, Coors Light, Yuengling,) and topping it off in the beer department they also carry many imported and specialty beers (Corona, Heineken, Heineken Light, Rolling Rock, Smirnoff Ice). If you prefer wine or specialty drinks, those are also available upon request.
Nearly 2-3 times a month they house live bands that play on the weekends, using their easy access stage and huge amount of space given for customers.
For example, the weekend of, newly elected, President Donald Trump’s inauguration, Backseat Bar and Grill had a Trump Inaugural Bash that featured a band called The Rumblers, one of the many local gigs they have housed. With just a five-dollar cover, or free entry if you wore anything with President Trump on it, I’d say that’s pretty affordable for live entertainment. Following them on Facebook is a good way to stay in the loop about the up-and-coming events that they put on.
While the bar and entertainment are certainly a highlight of the Backseat Bar and Grill, it is also quite the family atmosphere. “We don’t want people to think that we are just a bar. We are also a family restaurant that serves good food and we are more famous for our wings than anything.” Terri Sales stated. Terri is one of the owners, she and her husband, Jerry Sales, purchased the restaurant back in 2015 and have made many strides to tie the restaurant to the community by holding frequent Bike Runs for Fundraising and also holding many charity events that raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness and other local events.
Terri was correct when she said that they are famous for their wings. Devona Richman, the restaurants General Manager, who has been with the eatery, since the beginning in 2004. Devona stated that, “I went to every single place in the area that sells wings to make sure that our recipe, ingredients and final product was the best in the area. Every single Wednesday we have sixty-five cent wings and this place is packed with people who rant and rave about them.”
It is no doubt that they are very proud of their wings and even extend an invitation for everyone who comes to the restaurant and bar, that no matter what else you decide to order, please also get a side of wings, even if it’s just to try them. I have had them myself and I can testify that they are, in fact, some of the best wings I have had in the area.
Wings aren’t all they do and one HUGE advantage that they have added to the restaurants menu is that they have just started serving their amazing breakfast menu all day to their patrons. From pancakes to omelets, French toast and breakfast sandwiches, you couldn’t possibly go home hungry after eating a breakfast meal at Backseat. The portion sizes are unbelievably great for the affordable prices and the taste is nothing short of delicious with fresh ingredients and hot off the grill service.
Being a 1950’s themed, drive-in, backseat diner, there are also wonderfully nostalgic names for their breakfast Backseat Collector Combos, that include; the 56 Crown Vic (an eggs and meat dish that includes ham or scrapple, bacon and Gore’s Sausage patties), 69 Mustang (a massive pancake dish that includes country style sausage gravy or chipped beef gravy, served with two eggs and home cooked potatoes. YUM), 57 Chevy (another pancake dish with eggs bacon and sausage), 56 T-Bird (two buttermilk biscuits with sausage or chipped beef gravy and home cooked potatoes) and finally, the 60 Eldorado (a top of the line breakfast with thick 8 oz dinner sirloin, two eggs, toast and potatoes).
If breakfast isn’t on your menu when you stop by, no worries, there are appetizers like their famous wings, loaded nachos, quesadillas and even fried pickle spears. Soups and Salads are offered as well for a lighter/ side option. While the entire menu, with all the catchy names and fantastic ingredients list can be found on FourSquare.
com, some fan favorites of the regular patrons are; The Classic Burger which comes with a fresh 1/2lb patty and topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, mayonnaise and your choice of cheddar, American or provolone cheese, Backseat Steak and Cheese Sub that comes with, juicy, chopped and seasoned steak on a toasted Philly sub roll, smothered with melted provolone cheese and grilled onions, topped off with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise, and last but not least, my personal favorite, a Drive-In Special, Smothered Chicken Breast, a grilled chicken breast, smothered with sautéed onions and mushrooms, all covered with melted provolone cheese and if you like to take it to the next level like I do when I decide to gorge myself at a wonderful diner such as Backseat Bar and Grill, I love to have them add their amazing Cole-slaw to the top or side, because it adds a hint of sweetness to the deep and rich flavors of the mushrooms and onions over the chicken.
Backseat Bar and Grill is located at 104 Full House Drive in Winchester Virginia and they can be found on Facebook as well as on FourSquare.com. Something to look forward to in the future for this establishment is the fact that they just purchased the lot next to them in order to build a venue for events. They already allow you to rent out the place for birthdays and receptions, etc. but in the near future, they will have an entire venue to provide to their clientele. If you live close to Winchester, or consider yourself a Foodie, I suggest you check out this restaurant, you won’t be disappointed and you will certainly leave feeling full, happy and excited to come back.