Seasonal businesses ramping up for the summer
The phone at the Kegs Drive-In won't stop ringing. With the weather finally beginning to warm up, eager customers are flooding the Grand Forks establishment with calls and pulling into the parking lot wondering when they can get their first slopp...
The phone at the Kegs Drive-In won't stop ringing.
With the weather finally beginning to warm up, eager customers are flooding the Grand Forks establishment with calls and pulling into the parking lot wondering when they can get their first sloppy joe of the season.
"I anticipate tonight and tomorrow to be just insane around here," co-owner Laura Hanson said Thursday. The restaurant started opening at 4 p.m. this week and closing at 7:30 or 8 p.m. It will open at 11 a.m. once students get out of school for the summer and can come to work.
The Kegs is one of several long-time seasonal businesses in the Grand Forks region that opens up for the warmer months. Some, like the Kegs and Sky-Vu Drive-In Theatre Warren, Minn., rely on vintage themes that have become more sparse over the years.
But one restaurant in Grafton won't open until it finds a new owner.
Ryer Stark said he put the Westside Drive-In up for sale about a year ago. He's owned the business for about nine years. Since then, changes in his personal life and a job offer from a local bank last year made it difficult to keep running the place, he said.
"I decided then that if it wasn't sold by the spring, I was going to have to leave it closed," Stark said.
The business opened as an A&W restaurant in 1958 and became the Westside Drive-In in 1975.
Stark, who first started working at Westside in his teens, said he has plenty of fond memories working at the establishment over the years.
"It's as vintage as you get," Stark said. "It does very good business."
Both Stark and Hanson said it takes some time to prepare a seasonal business like theirs for a new year. Managing inventory and finding seasonal employees can also be a challenge.
Still, "I like the seasonal business," Hanson said. "It's kind of fun."
Stark agreed. "I think (Westside) would be a great opportunity for somebody."
The Sky-Vu Drive-In Theatre opened more than a month ago, the earliest start in its history, owner Steve Novak said. The novelty and history of drive-in theaters keeps families coming back, he said.
"What's happening is the teenagers that were there back in the '70s now are grown up and they have kids," Novak said. "Now they're bringing their kids to show them what they did back in the '70s."