Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Riggen's Frostop, Chrisman, Illinois

Next up in our series on Frostop's Across the United States is the Riggen's Frostop located in Chrisman, Illinois.
Part 2:

Riggen's Frostop Chrisman, IL The Frostop in Chrisman, Illinois was built in 1954 by E.O. Tate. Rena Riggen started working for Mr. Tate in 1955. In 1956, Rena and her husband Robert (Bob) Riggen, began leasing the Frostop from Mr. Tate. They leased the restaurant for three years, but in 1959, Mr. Tate sold the Frostop to Luther Vandevander. Rena stayed on and worked for him. Two years later, Rena and Bob bought the Frostop. Since 1961, the Frostop in Chrisman has been run by the Riggen family.

Rena Riggen & daughter Sue Riggen Lawlyes

In the early 1990's, Rena & Bob's children took over the restaurant. Their children, Sue & Dave, now run the restaurant. Rena, now 88 years old, still works everyday part time. Robert Riggen sadly passed away in 2002 and his long time presence at the Frostop is missed everyday.

Dave Riggen The Riggen's Frostop still uses car hops and does not have indoor seating. The restaurant offers service to cars, picnic tables, and to go orders. The menu consists of hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ sandwiches, catfish dinners, Italian beef dinners, ice cream, and of course the famous root beer in a frosty mug. New this year to the menu is pizza which is already a good seller.

Newest menu item - Pizza!
The Frostop is seasonal and is open from mid March until mid October due to the COLD Midwestern winters. The Riggen's Frostop has been Chrisman's local landmark and hangout since it was built. The small town has a population of 1400 and in Chrisman, Frostop is "THE" place to be!
The Frostop celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2005 with a cruise in car show, a band, and they even had car hops both past and present. The celebration was enjoyed by all!

50th anniversary cruise in 2005

Terrific video of the Riggen's Frostop from 1994.

To see the video from Episode 522 from Thursday July 14, 1994 on the Riggen's Frostop click the link below.
The Riggen's Frostop Facebook group:

I would like to thank Mandi Lawlyes Cochran, the grandaughter of Rena, for all of her help with the information for this article! The Frostop in Chrisman, Illinois is located at:

314 Pennsylvania

Chrisman, IL 61924

Phone: 217-269-2223


  1. Great post! So nice to read about Rena & Bob sticking in there all those years. Another place to add to our list of "must visit".

  2. Thanks! I want to go on a roadtrip to the remaining Frostops one day!

  3. Sadly today on Tuesday June 29, the Riggen Frostop burnt down at approximately 10 a.m. CST. This is a great loss to the community and will be forever remembered as one of every citizen of Chrisman's greatest childhood memories.

  4. I just heard about the fire about and hour ago. My heart goes out to the family and the community for such a great loss.


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