Raining Cats And Blogs: Mac's Drive In - Clemson SC - It is Part Of The History Of Clemson SC

Mac's Drive In - Clemson SC - It is Part Of The History Of Clemson SC

Mac’s Drive In sits off the road a bit between Clemson and Pendleton SC. Its sign is permanently discolored by streaks of rust. Mac’s offers up a mixture of homemade hamburgers, beer-battered onion rings, milkshakes and conversation that has attracted locals, passersby and neighbors for two generations. Oh, and lots of sports on the several TVs and the radio ( Clemson sports of course).

Harold McKeown, aka “Mac,” opened the restaurant along with Dan Gentry in 1956, shortly after graduating from Clemson University with a mechanical engineering degree. A trolley car that housed a former roadside business served as the drive-in’s first incarnation, until 1964, when the small, one-story, ranch-style brick building replaced it. Later, a wooden side deck was added to expand the seating beyond the one long countertop indoors.

I remember as a kid actually driving up and parking and my dad would blow the horn and out would come the carhops.. We would eat in the car with a tray of food attached to the window.. I thought that was the coolest thing ever as a kid.

Mac’s decor is totally local with several miniature statues featuring the Clemson tiger mascot holding a South Carolina gamecock by the neck. Above the grill, a wood-paneled overhang looms as a homey symbol of almost unconscious locality. It is crammed with framed, mostly signed, photos of Clemson athletic heroes past and present — history played out inch by inch, frame by frame. C.J. Spiller, a running back for Clemson, signed a photo of himself that reads, “To Mr. Macs, thanks for putting some fat on my body with those shakes and hamburgers.” Dwight Clark, who played for Clemson and the San Francisco 49ers, signed a photo of a game-winning catch he made in a game that led the 49ers to the Super Bowl: “The hamburgers made me do it.”

Now days, although still called Mac's Drive In, you do need to go indoors and sit at the counter. Until very recently, shuffling behind the counter, was Mac himself. Though he had retired years ago and sold the place to Ted Hunter, father of Pat Hunter, who manages the restaurant, Mac was still a fixture at Mac’s. Mac died Dec. 30, 2009 at the age of 82. Shortly before his death, Clemson Mayor Larry Abernathy and Clemson University President James F. Barker, along with dozens of friends and family, went to his hospital bedside with an official proclamation designating Dec. 30, 2009, as Harold Alexander “Mac” McKeown Day.


Below is a youtube video of a short documentary on Mac's.. It is worth a viewing.. If you are ever near Clemson or Pendleton SC, you MUST stop by Mac's for a meal! You will be so glad you did.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in the  Anderson or Greenville SC real estate areas, visit our website at www.SheilaNewtonTeam.com for tons of great information.


Sheila Newton   
Sheila Newton Team 
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices -
C. Dan Joyner, Realtors
864-225-1205 (direct)
864-940-6377 (mobile)


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This is a great hyperlocal post. It's really well done. Suggested.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) over 6 years ago

Thanks Jill - we just ate there last night and I just had to blog on it!

Posted by Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC, Selling the Upstate since 1989 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner) over 6 years ago

Sheila:  What a great post.  I can just picture the Clemson Tiger holding that Gamecock by the throat.  It just makes me want a burger... right ?  LOL.

Super story about a local treasure of a burger place.  I'll take one of those homemade burgers... with cheese and onions, please.  Of course, include a large order of beer-battered onion rings, and then a large vanilla shake.  Then, once I explode... just put my remains out by the curb... LOL.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 6 years ago

It sounds like you and a bunch of other people have some very fond memories of this place Sheila. I really enjoyed the local post.

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) over 6 years ago

Good morning Roger for a place to be around that long they have to be doing something right.  Thanks for letting us know about this fine establishment

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) over 6 years ago

Mac's is truly a great landmark. I wish I was closer...now I'm hungry for a cheeseburger.

Posted by Debbie Laity, Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO (Cedaredge Land Company) over 6 years ago

Best cheeseburgers in the upstate.

Posted by Norman Keasler over 2 years ago