PUNXSUTAWNEY — Joe Sikora Jr. is fulfilling a childhood dream and continuing the legacy of his father as the owner and proprietor of Joe’s Drive In in Punxsutawney.
Originally a Tastee-Freez, Joe Sikora Sr. bought the the establishment in 1967 and Joe’s Drive In came into being after he changed the name in 1968.
Sikora said that running the business and working with his father was something he wanted to do since he was a child and has been something he has been able to achieve.
“I’ve always wanted to run the business and work with my dad. When I was in sixth grade, all my classmates wanted to doctors, astronauts or other things. I wanted to run Joe’s Drive In. I started working for my dad when I was 12 and I became the owner of Joe’s Drive In in 1998,” Sikora said.
Sikora said that Joe’s Drive In is known for their hot food and ice cream. He said the foot long hot dog, the T-Burger (double burger, ketchup, mustard, pickle, thousand island dressing, lettuce and cheese) and the hot fudge sundae are particular favorites.
“People say the hot fudge is the best on the planet and the T-burger has been a staple for as long as I can remember,” Sikora said.
Sikora said running the business is not without its challenges and he sometimes does not have enough time to spend on other things.
“It can be hard to find enough hours in a day to get everything done. Running this business takes many hours of commitment and I sometimes don’t get enough time to do things I would like to do with my family and friends,” Sikora said.
He said he is grateful for all of his customers and he feels humble to have been a part of Punxsutawney for so long.
“I genuinely love Punxsutawney. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. It’s a great place to raise children and run a business. We couldn’t be anymore blessed. We have always felt supported by the community and the surrounding areas. We have many regular customers and we are grateful for them. They feel like friends and family. Serving Punxsutawney for so long is an awesome and humbling feeling,” Sikora said.
Sikora said in the future he is focused on making Joe’s Drive In better and he strives to make every customer feel special when they visit his establishment.
“We just want to try to make every sundae better . We want to make every customer feel like they are number one when they come to the window. I love waiting on our customers. I especially love seeing the kids get their first ice cream cones with the sprinkles and the candy eyes,” Sikora said.