THE OFFICIAL SITE OF SOUTH OF THE BORDER.

Posts Tagged ‘Schafer Family’

The Border Celebrates Blenheim Ginger Ale

Friday, October 1st, 2010

blenheim_ginger_ale1

As some of you know, Good Ole Blenheim Ginger Ale is made right here on the grounds of South of the Border, America’s Favorite Roadside tourist attraction in Dillon, South Carolina. Today Pedro is helping them celebrate and announce the opening of their Online Store. You can now place an online order for the tongue-slapping ginger ale that was created in 1903, making it America’s oldest independent soft drink.

Blenheim Ginger Ale is owned by the Schafer family, who also own South of the Border. As the story goes, Alan Schafer began drinking Blenheim Ginger Ale as a youngster and fell in love with that spicy heat and homemade flavor. Legend has it he once credited his long life and good health to two things: An Old #3 Blenheim Ginger Ale and a beer every day. So when the opportunity arose to buy Blenheim Bottlers, he jumped at the chance. After a marketing campaign in the Seventies, the demand for Blenheim Ginger Ale became so great, he decided to build a new modern factory near his office on the grounds of South of the Border. He may have modernized the equipment, but Blenheim Ginger Ale is still made the old fashioned way with sugar and a century old recipe that puts the fire and spice in ginger ale.

For over 100 years, Blenheim Ginger Ale has been made in small batches with the love and attention only a family run business can offer. This made getting your hands on a bottle pretty difficult if you didn’t live in the Dillon, SC area. But now every home in America can have a case of Blenheim Ginger Ale sitting in the fridge in just a few short days. Once you place you online order, the factory will ship it to your home in a couple of days for the incredible price of $24 per case plus shipping. That’s only a dollar a bottle, and Pedro loves a good bargain. So head on over to their website and read all about Blenheim Ginger Ale’s 3 unique flavors: Old #3 Hot, #5 Regular and #9 Diet.

You can get more updates, news, info and fun from South of the Border by following Pedro on Twitter, @sotbpedro or checking out our Official Facebook page.

South of the Border- A Schafer Family Tradition

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

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Click image to download pdf (452KB)

Scanned from the Dillon Herald Centennial Edition
02/04/2010 www.the dillonherald.com

South of the Border is in its 60th year of business in Hamer, South Carolina, but its roots in Dillon County extend much deeper. The Schafer family has been an integral part of the community since the 1870’s, not only as residents but as business owners and employers. The Dillon Herald recently published their Centennial Edition and included an article about the Schafer family history, the origins of South of the Border and Schafer Distributing.

The Schafer Company originally began as a dry goods store, and then evolved into a distributorship for Miller Beer throughout most of the major cities in South Carolina. South of the Border began as a beer depot to sell alcohol to “dry” Robeson County in North Carolina, and has evolved into a 300 acre tourist attraction. Each year millions of hungry, curious and weary travelers take advantage of the shops, restaurants, hotel and amusements. Tens of millions of dollars flow into the local economy from taxes, jobs, charitable donations and related spending.

Enjoy this article, courtesy of the Dillon Herald, and learn more about America’s Favorite Roadside Attraction~ South of the Border.

“Hey Mom, what’s for dinner?!?”

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

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South of the Border has the answer when the kids start yelling that they’re hungry as you cruise down Interstate 95 at the North Carolina and South Carolina border. We make feeding a hungry family on the move super-easy, very affordable and incredibly yummy. Everyone can find a tasty treat at one of the SIX restaurants on the grounds of America’s favorite roadside attraction. You can grab a quick bite at Pedro’s Diner, or enjoy an elegant steak dinner from The Peddler Steakhouse. And of course, if you live in the area, we make a great date night destination for a little fun after you eat.

The Sombrero Room restaurant is the perfect place for the entire family to take a break from the journey and enjoy a wholesome sit-down meal together. The ceiling is covered in hundreds of sombreros and a new one goes up every time some donates $20 to The Shriner’s Children’s Hospital. This was one of SOTB founder Mr. Schafer’s favorite charities and we proudly honor his memory by continuing his charity work for this worthy cause. The restaurant is located on the north side of the complex where the original South of the Border Drive-in stood in the 60’s, and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.

There are hearty dishes for the big appetites like prime steak and chicken cooked over our charcoal fire grill. For the diet conscious, our salad bar is filled with fresh fruits, veggies and our homemade tuna and chicken salads. The Kid’s Menu has special items like grilled cheese and applesauce for the picky young ones. Finding something for every finicky eater is easy at the Sombrero Room because we have a real variety to offer. We have down-home Southern favorites like crispy fried chicken, tender BBQ ribs and smoky BBQ chicken. Pedro’s South of the Border Mexican specialties include crunchy tacos, saucy enchiladas, cheesy quesadillas and a breakfast burrito. For lunch we have an assortment of sandwiches like our char-grilled huge ½ pound steak-burger, Carolina pulled-pork sandwiches and an All-American club. We pile the NY-style corned beef high on rye bread with Swiss cheese and sauerkraut to make our signature Reuben sandwich, so Pedro’s Yankee friends will feel right at home.

The coffee is always hot and fresh to give you that little shot of energy to get back on the highway to your ultimate destination after your visit to South of the Border. The Sombrero Room fixes our big fluffy 3-egg omelets filled with ham and cheese will boost your protein levels and keep you going strong the rest of the day. And our grill serves up golden pancakes, Belgian waffles and French toast that can be topped off with fruit, syrup or whipped cream for those of us who like a little sugar rush in the morning. We don’t forget about that sweet tooth at dinner either. Our strawberry cheesecake is simply divine and the Hot Fudge Cake with chocolate fudge and ice cream is sinfully rich and delightful.

If you need a light snack or sandwich as you make you way around South of the Border exploring the sights and shopping, stop off at The Hot Dog Stand or The Hot Tamale. They serve up a wide selection of subs, burgers, pizza and Pedro’s infamous tamales. For the late night traveler, Pedro’s Diner is open 24 hours a day serving up diner classics, breakfast and sandwiches. If the kids scream for ice cream, Pedro’s Ice Cream Fiesta has flavors galore and low-fat yogurt for those worried about the old waistline battle. Blenheim Ginger Ale is available at most of our stores and restaurants, so don’t miss out on South Carolina’s only native soft drink and it’s addictive fiery ginger flavor.

So stop on in to South of the Border and visit Pedro as you pass by, he will make sure you get a hot, delicious meal and get you back on the road in no time.

South Of The Border’s 60 Year Anniversary

Friday, January 1st, 2010

history_donkeyThis year South of the Border, America’s favorite roadside attraction located near Dillon South Carolina along Interstate 95 at the North Carolina and South Carolina border, marks its 60th year of operation and our plans are to get bigger and better than ever before. Pedro has seen a lot of changes in the world and a lot of changes here at South of the Border over the years, and Pedro has many new projects and renovations in the works.

South of the Border began as a 600 square foot stand selling beer to thirsty patrons from dry counties north of the border in North Carolina and has developed into a 300 acre complex with such diverse features as a motel and campground, six restaurants, a theme park, mini-golf, fireworks store, gas stations and more than a dozen gift shops with everything from Mexican jumping beans to antiques. In the beginning Mr. Alan Schafer worked the stand by himself and now SOTB is run by the third generation of the Schafer family and hundreds of employees, making it the biggest employer in Dillon County, S.C.

The people used to come to in a few at a time in American made Chevys and Fords traveling along Highway 301. Now Pedro greets millions of cars, made all over the world, traveling from New York to Florida on Interstate 95, and now some of those cars even run off of electricity. And now, people can travel on jet planes from one side of the U.S. in only a few hours instead of having to drive for days. Speaking of traveling, Pedro has even seen people take voyages in rocket ships from the Earth to the Moon and live in space stations circling high above our planet.

Communicating has changed immensely in the last 60 years. Back in 1950, telephones weighed a few pounds and their use was limited by how long the cord that was attached to it would reach. The sound traveled over wires stretched from coast to coast, and operators transferred calls by switching plugs to make the connection. Now the phones weigh only a few ounces and are wireless so that you can carry them with you on your trip to give Pedro a call if you need to reserve a room at the South of the Border Motor Inn. The cell phone signals now bounce off satellites orbiting the earth and can reach nearly any point on the planet. The satellites themselves are another creation that has happened in the last 60 years, with Russian putting the Sputnik 1 in orbit in 1957. Floating high above the earth and circling the globe, they now carry every type of communication one can image. Television, phone calls, global positioning signals (GPS), surveillance cameras and outer space research are all carried by satellites today. GPS has become a vital part of modern communication and travel. The satellites send signals to small devices, cars, and cell phones that are equipped to guide people to their destination with on-board maps that are displayed on the screen or by a voice that speaks to you.

The computer might be the biggest change in world since South of the Border opened all those many years ago, followed closely by the invention of the internet. In the 1960’s computers were so large that each one would take up space equivalent to the average living room just to do the simplest of calculations. Now smart cell phones that fit in the palm of your hand are able to pack the power of dozens of those computers, and they can connect to the internet so you can surf the web while away from home. The internet has become ingrained in everyday life, with people doing their shopping, paying bills, learning, playing games, watching movies and using social media sites to connect with their friends who might live far away.

Other notable inventions, events and milestones since South of the Border opened are:

  • Microwave oven- Pedro thinks microwave burritos should be on here too!
  • The Snuggie- Pedro has been wearing one for 60 years, we call it a serape in Mexico
  • The Polaroid camera and digital camera- Pedro looks very handsome right?
  • E-mail- Lets Pedro stay in touch with his many friends and visitors all over the world.
  • Remote control- If Pedro can ever find his, have you seen it?
  • Automatic Teller Machines- Made getting more money to spend with Pedro VERY easy
  • Salsa takes over as #1 condiment- Pedro thinks plain old ketchup never stood a chance!

We know there are so many more events, inventions and important happenings in the last 60 years and we invite you to share your memories of anything that was important to you and your family, or simply tell us your favorite memory of South of the Border and the changes you have seen to our complex here in Dillon, SC.

Alan Schafer ~ St. Petersburg Times Article 2001

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

alan_schaferCompiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times,
published July 21, 2001
view article»

Anyone traveling along Interstate 95 has seen them: the groan-inducing, retina-scorching green and orange billboards.

Too Tired to Tango? (Rest Weeth Pedro!)

Pedro sez: Chili today, hot tamale.

Keep America Green! Bring Money!

You Never Sausage a Place! You’re Always a Wiener at Pedro’s!

Keep yelling kids! (They’ll stop.)

For more than five decades, South of the Border has attracted restless travelers, reportedly as many as 8-million a year. The $40-million Mexican-themed complex includes motel rooms, campsites, gift shops, restaurants, an amusement park and a large observation tower shaped like a sombrero. The park, with about 750 workers, remains one of the largest employers in an economically depressed county.

Its mascot is the wise-cracking Pedro character made famous by the billboards and created by Alan Schafer.

Born into a Jewish family in Baltimore just as World War I was starting, Mr. Schafer lived almost all of his life in South Carolina’s rural Dillon County. He was a journalism major at the University of South Carolina, who left during his senior year in 1933 to take over a cafe and a beer distributing company for his ailing father.

After World War II, Mr. Schafer noticed hordes of families from the Northeast zooming down U.S. 301 to South Carolina and Florida beaches. He decided to offer them a place to stop for a meal and souvenirs. He started in 1949, with an 18- by 36-foot, shocking-pink beer stand just south of the state border. The nearby North Carolina counties were dry, meaning it was illegal to sell alcohol there. The next year, he added a 10-seat grill — the South of the Border Drive-In — at the request of then-Gov. Strom Thurmond, who wanted to quiet complaints from anti-drink forces in the neighboring state.

Next came the curios. One night in the early 1950s, a traveling salesman wandered in. He had run out of cash on the way home to New York City from a Miami trade show. Mr. Schafer bought the man’s stock, a collection of plush elephants and bears, for $100. He distributed the stuffed toys around his store. A week later, he had sold them all for $500.

(more…)

Documentary Film ~ “S.O.B. and the Legend of Alan Schafer”

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

There’s a new documentary on the way about the most famous Mexican themed roadside attraction in the United States: South of the Border.  “S.O.B. and the Legend of Alan Schafer” will premier Saturday, April 25 at the Charleston International Film Festival. The film examines the life and stories behind Alan Schafer, the heroic figure behind this world famous attraction. Hopefully the film will put to rest some of the rumors and mysteries about Pedro.

“S.O.B. and the Legend of Alan Schafer” was co-directed by  Jesse Berger and Nate Mallard.