Merle and Helen Wiggins founded the Chuck Wagon Restaurant in August of 1955 as the first drive-in in Olean. The western motif was adopted and continues today after
the Wiggins moved here from Tucson,AZ. The eatery was located on Main Street at the city line, a short distance south of its present location. It had only outdoor seating and carhops served customers at their cars on weekends. It was a seasonal
business. Mr. & Mrs. Wiggins closed in November and reopened in the spring. In 1964 the restaurant moved up the street to its present location due to the construction of North Union Street Extension. The new building allowed for indoor
seating of 4 booths and 14 counter stools, plus it had outdoor seating under a large canopy. The old building was demolished and customers drive over the original location whenever they drive North on Route 16 from Olean.
In 1968 the restaurant underwent the first of its remodeling efforts. The 4 overhead doors and screened-in
front were replaced with big permanent windows that doubled the seating capacity. Also the outdoor canopy was removed to allow for
more parking space. After the death of Mr. & Mrs. Wiggins, the restaurant was acquired by their daughter and son-in-law Robert & Judy Styles, who have both been working at the restaurant since it opened in 1955.
In 1985 the restaurant got another update. Dishes replaced paper and many new health conscious items were added to the menu. Also new to the menu was the addition of beer and wine. Many of the customers asked for legal beverages to be available
with their fish fries on Friday and their Black Angus steaks on Saturday and Sunday. A tasty array of appetizers were also added to the menu to begin their meals.
In 2000 another remodeling took place. The restaurant was updated to a fresh modern western look and new booths were added and the counter was reduced to half its size. The large neon-lighted
cowboy sign out front of the restaurant was refurbished in 2009. The cowboy has welcomed customers at both the old and the new locations for 60 years. It is truly a landmark in the Olean area.
We have seen quite an increase in restaurants in the area over the
last 60 years, but we continue to grow. We attribute our success to quality food, great service, and of course cleanliness. Our motto still remains to always serve quality food to our guests at the Chuck Wagon, just as we would our guests at home.
Mr. Styles still continues to make many of the food items on the menu himself. Our western style chili and homemade soups are available everyday to begin your meal. Top it off with our homemade desserts and you have experienced a real "down home"
meal. The sign under the cowboy says it all: "WE LOVE HUNGRY PEOPLE!"