A new drive-through restaurant is opening its doors in Orangeburg.

Mikey’s Drive-Thru is located in the former Central Park at 1168 John C. Calhoun Drive next to Walgreens.

The restaurant had a soft opening Jan. 7 and will plan to have a grand opening in June when a full menu will be unveiled.

The restaurant is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“We feel like there is a lack of good quality food in Orangeburg,” restaurant manager Danna Tyler said. 

Tyler explained that customers will receive only the freshest of meats “straight from the butcher” and said the meats are “never frozen.”

Tyler said the meats are also cooked with olive and grapeseed oil.

For most American students, school lunch consists of bland, mass-produced, reheated meals that most would rather skip. But a small but growing number of school districts are upgrading their cafeteria menus with organic local, grass-fed meats and made-from-scratch recipes that defy the image of inedible school food. In Northern California’s Mount Diablo Unified School District, culinary manager Josh Gjersand is using the skills he learned cooking at several Michelin-starred restaurants to reimagine what school lunch can be. “When you think of schools and you think of the cafeterias, they should look like restaurants. They should feel like restaurants and not fast food chains,” said Gjersand, who changed careers after serving a wagyu beef-and-caviar crowd lost its luster during the pandemic. The Mount Diablo students are benefiting from a trend away from mass-produced, reheated meals. Its lunch menus are filled with California-grown fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meats and recipes that defy the image of inedible school food.

“We call it fast food without the guilt,” Tyler said. “It gives a quality meal on the fly.”

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Mikey’s serves steaks (cheese steaks, pepper cheese steak) and chicken nuggets.

It also serves BLTs, burgers and hot dogs, fries and drinks.

Currently Mikey’s employs five.

“We are growing every day,” Tyler said.

Tyler said the restaurant is special to her family.

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“We are natives of Orangeburg,” Tyler said. 

She explained that her sister, Fernelephe “Nel” Ancrum, along with her brother as well as other family members, worked at Central Park when they were growing up.

“What better place to open up in Orangeburg,” she said.

The family-owned restaurant is named in honor of Ancrum’s late brother, who was also a native of Orangeburg.

“We wanted to keep his spirit alive and his drive for hard work and good food,” Tyler said. “That is what he was known for.”

The drive-through restaurant also has colorful artistry of its various food offerings on its exterior facing John C. Calhoun.

Tyler said Michael was also a joke teller and the mural is intended to be uplifting for customers.

“We will provide good customer service and want people to feel like someone when they leave,” Tyler said.

In addition to honoring Michael’s memory, Ancrum’s only son is also named Michael and the muralist is the creation of Michael Scott from Orangeburg.

“We try to keep it local and keep it quality,” Tyler said.

Central Park first opened its doors in 1990 and proved to be a popular place for young and old alike.

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The former restaurant was heavily damaged by a grease fire in February 2010. There were plans to reopen in the summer of 2015 but they were never realized.

The restaurant was razed in 2017.

Ancrum purchased the property in October 2014, according to county property records.

The opening has been a long time coming.

Ancrum had initially planned to open the restaurant in 2018 but the plans never materialized.

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