You know it very well. Mel's Drive-In is a place that you have probably ended up at because of someone else's poor and/or drunk decision-making skills.
Inebriate 1: "Guys, I am STARVING! Where can we get something to eat?!"
Inebriate 2: "Uh, gee, I don't know, I'm really not that..."
Inebriate 1: "I KNOW! How about Mel's?! I've never been there!"
Inebriate 2: (Exhaling) "Ah... Mel's... I mean, I guess if you're really..."
Inebriate 1: (Hurling self into empty street) "TAXXXIII!"
Mel's is only popular for one reason: it's open late. Much to my chagrin, they've studied local drinking establishments closely and found that all of them close at, gasp, 2 a.m.! Can you believe it? Those intelligent bastards. So how late does Mel's stay open? Until 4 a.m., which is one waffle away from being open 24 hours! Maybe it's got something to do with keeping the staff at part-time so they don't have to offer them any benefits. Their compensations stop at the '60s checkered uniforms. Chic!
Anyway, being the only (disclaimer: following word used loosely) restaurant that's open late, Mel's has become something of a ward or corral for the drunk. Bars close and haggard looking men, women and zombies saunter into Mel's to eat terrible, terrible food. Everything is messy. The people are loud. The food is fried twice. The talk is slurred. The lighting is unnecessarily bright (spotlights + inebriates = unsightliness). Yet they herd people in by the dozen, and they hook up, flirt and pass out over waffles, gyros and milkshakes, with the occasional homeless person sprinkled in who made his/her way in off the street and has gone yet unnoticed.
It's an ugly scene.
The first and last time I was at Mel's I saw a man heave and projectile vomit under his table, onto the feet of his friends. One of the guys was even wearing sandals. Gross! And there was no reaction. None! As if this was acceptable behavior or nothing out of the ordinary for a drunkard's haven. I was the only one who reacted, halfway across the room. After wiping his mouth on his sleeve, he regained focus and ate the rest of his pancakes. I think I even saw him making out with some woman in the lobby when I left. What a romancer. (Not sure how he pulled that one off actually.)
I don't know if I've ever witnessed a more appalling act take place in an eating establishment. Holy hamburgers. Mel, check please.