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Idaho Enterprise

Drive-In officially reopens for business

Last Friday, the iconic Malad Drive-In reopened after a several month hiatus during a change of ownership.  New owner Bryan Scott has stated that his overriding concern for the drive-in is continuity—he wants the food, the experience, and the quality to be the same that people have loved for decades.  After a whirlwind several weeks of hiring, training, and prepping the kitchen for the inevitable rush, the Drive-In opened Friday with a limited menu while the new staff got used to their roles.  While the most commonly ordered items were available to those who rushed in on opening day, some of the more elaborate items were held off until this week, when the full menu will be available.

  From the minute the drive-in officially opened to a bit past its official close time, business was steady to intense all day.  Phone orders experienced a bit of wait time, as it seemed everyone in town was lined up to make sure the shakes and grilled burgers were still the same.  Fortunately, there was widespread agreement and a sigh of relief that things were going to be just fine.  For the initial weekend, owner Bryan Scott and veteran Drive-In cook and current Enterprise employee Sherrie Wise were on hand to help at the grill.

A quick Interview with Bryan Scott, new owner of the Drive-In

The Enterprise was able to catch Bryan Scott for a few minutes to get some perspective on this momentous weekend:

1) Why did you decide to buy the Drive-In? 

I wasn't sure how much longer I could go without a cheese snack!

Kidding aside, it's about preservation. Malad needs the Drive-In. Restaurants will come and go as Malad grows. But the Drive-In is more than a restaurant for Malad. The Drive-In and The Dude Ranch are Malad's Restaurants and the Drive-In has been since 1955. People come to Malad for the Drive-In. It has been the first job for many, it has been a career for some. It's the first place I asked Jordan to go on a date to. 

The bottom line is that the Drive-In is a big part of Malad's past, I believe that it can be a great part of its future. 

Lynn and Connie should be proud of what they have built and the business that they have run. I am grateful that the Price family has allowed me to carry the torch. 

2) What is the importance of the Drive-In to the community?

I think the Drive-In is important to most people, but probably for different reasons. For some people it may be just a fond memory, a first date, first crush, dad spilled his drink, or lunch with coworkers. 

But it is important because it is social. I have watched the world since Myspace launched in 2003 and then Facebook in 2004. The world is becoming less social, which is ironic since we know have 4.5 billion people using "Social Media". The Drive-In is about being social interacting with people, maybe the car hop, maybe the person in the car next to you.  

No one should eat their Cheese Snack alone, no one should have a milkshake without a smile and someone to enjoy it with. We even have a buddy burger, which you can share with a buddy!

3) What memories do you have of Drive-In?

Too many to say. 

When Jordan and I started dating, I asked her on a date and said that we could go to Drive-In. We ended up not going because I did not have any money, but I didn't want to say that, so we just talked and starved all night. She had not eaten so she was super hungry. 

When I was a young boy, maybe 12, Lynn had put a flag out front. I came in too hot and could not stop in time, ended up smashing the flagpole, breaking it right in two. 

I always enjoyed when Lynn knew my order. Sometimes I would see him start cooking my order before I ordered it. 

4) What was the experience of the first weekend like? What was unexpected or interesting?

It was crazy. I am thankful to all those that came out and supported us. 

I am thankful for the staff and my family that came out and helped us. 

For those who came and it wasn't the best, I am sorry—we are learning. Feedback is welcome. Complaints are how we learn. 

For those who came and it was the best, and was everything you remembered, thanks for the support. 

We especially appreciate those who waited two hours. You are incredible. 

5) What are your hopes for the Drive-in moving forward?

For now, I am focused on preserving it. I have some ideas that I think are great that can be woven into its 65 years of history to create a perfect future. But for right now I am focused on making sure that it is exactly what it has always been. 

But stay tuned for the future ideas! 

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