Marvin’s Esso Station & Dining Room


820 York St NE (near Variety Restaurant)
Aiken, SC 29801


Marvin Rifkin (1912-1990) was born in St. Louis, Missouri to Russian Jewish immigrants. His parents came to the United States in the late nineteenth century, settling in the Midwest. In 1932, Marvin Rifkin married Mollie Efron Rifkin (1912-1975) in Aiken, though Mollie Efron Rifkin had, like Marvin Rifkin, grown up in Missouri. Towards the close of World War Two, Marvin Rifkin enlisted into the United States Army at Fort Jackson as a Private. Following the war, Marvin Rifkin and his wife, Mollie Efron Rifkin resided in Aiken where he opened a fueling station on the Columbia Highway called Marvin’s Esso Station and Dining Room. The business was very popular with the teenage crowd of Aiken. By 1955, the fueling station had closed. Marvin Rifkin’s 1990 obituary testified that he operated several fueling stations in the Aiken area, making this establishment just one of many.

Main Image: Advertisement for Marvin’s Dining Room and Drive-In, 1949. Reprinted from the Aiken Standard, 10 June, 1949.

The Jewish Merchant Project is supported by the generosity of the Henry & Sylvia Yaschik Foundation and the Stanley B. Farbstein Endowment at the Coastal Community Foundation.

JHSSC Office
Sylvia Vlosky Yaschik Jewish Studies Center
96 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: 843 953 3918