Dicks Drive In for Sale
May 13, 2008
Owners selling Kamas landmark after 13 years
The two "For Sale" signs in the window are red and white, just like the red-and-white Coca Cola bottles, plates and antique coolers in the restaurant.
Another sign near the cash register reads, "This is NOT a Burger King. You get it our way or you don’t get it at all."
Bonnie and Okie Leach hope Dick’s Drive In will stay that way. The couple has eaten at Dick’s once or twice a week for the last 10 years. They come for the fresh lettuce and tomatoes and the hamburgers made of locally purchased ground beef and rolled into paddies every morning.
They also come for the service. "That smiling face you get when you say, ‘Hustle it up! I’m in a hurry,’" Okie Leach laughed.
Barbara Frazier doesn’t have to look at the Leach’s table to see what they have ordered. She knows by heart. "Bonnie gets the halibut basket with spear fries and Okie gets a double cheese burger," she said.
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Whenever Brady Hancock, Skyler Gillette, Joe Stocking and Charlie Bessey make the drive through Kamas, they make sure to stop at Dick’s . They wouldn’t do the same for Burger King. "I don’t remember what I ate last time," Hancock said. "But I wish I did ’cause it was good."
Since the "for sale" signs went up two weeks ago Monday, Frazier and her sister-in-law, Dana Vernon, have received six offers. They’re asking $650,000. "We’re just tired," Frazier said. "We work 14-hour days. It’s like owning a herd of cows. You gotta be there or you lose them."
Frazier and Vernon opened Dick’s 13 years ago. Frazier, whose husband Blake is the Summit County Auditor and mayor of Oakley, had a couple old Coke trays she thought would look nice in a burger place. She put them up.
Today, Dick’s is a collector’s den of Coke bottles from around the world and several antique plates on the wall. The walls are painted red and the words "Things Goes Better With Coke" summit the wall outside the bathrooms.
The eatery’s waterhole mentality is best expressed in the paradox of its name: Dick’s is a drive-in, not a drive-thru.
"A lot of the decorations were donated," Frazier said. Recently, a customer gave the eatery two large Coke puzzles, but Frazier doesn’t know yet where she’s going to put them.
Dick’s attracts customers from all over Summit County, and even other places in Utah.
Bonnie Leach has brought visitors from "probably a dozen states," and not one of them has disliked Dick’s, she said.
The place’s longevity stands in contrast to the Kamas café, Boonie Leach said, which has struggled to keep an owner.
Frazier sells about 8,500 milkshakes in the month of July and goes through 120 pounds of ground beef in a typical summer day. Customers stood in line during the lunch rush Monday spooning gobs of raspberry malt into their mouths.
She and Vernon say they will try to sell to a local buyer. "I’d prefer local," Frazier said. "Winter business is local, and you need those 85-hundred shakes in July to help you get through the slow times. That’s just a fact."
Frazier doesn’t know what she’ll do with retirement. "I’m going to buy a Harley and a set of leathers," she joked.