Biz Buzz: 56-year-old diner in Ashton gets facelift, hosts grand reopening
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Do you want to know what’s happening in the eastern Idaho business scene? We’ve got you covered. Here is a rundown of this week’s business news across the valley.
Local drive-in reopening Thursday after 2-month remodel project
ASHTON – A 56-year-old restaurant is reopening Thursday after a nearly two-month renovation project.
Frostop Drive-In at 26 U.S. Highway 20 in Ashton will be having a ribbon-cutting and grand reopening celebration at 11 a.m. For one day only, restaurant co-owner Hannah McCausey tells EastIdahoNews.com Frostop will offer 19-cent ice cream cones and 65-cent root beers just like they were priced when it originally opened in 1965.
An old mural of Mesa Falls inside the restaurant has been replaced with a new one created by local artist Joyce Leonard, which will fit with the remodel’s 1965 retro theme. It will be unveiled during Thursday’s ceremony.
“We’re not telling (details about the new mural) because that’s what we’re going to do our grand opening in front of. It’s a surprise,” McCausey says. “The old one of Mesa Falls was done 50 years ago. We donated it to the Museum of the Henry’s Fork Foundation. There’s (an animal exhibit) in the museum, and we put (the mural) behind that.”
There will also be a drawing for prize giveaways, which include T-shirts, mugs and keychains. Every purchase will give customers an entry in the drawing.
Frostop Drive-In closed on Jan. 31 due to ice damage on the roof. As repairs got underway, McCausey noticed there were other things that needed attention and decided now was the perfect time for an extensive remodel.
“Our roof had to get jacked up 3 or 4 inches. The water damage took out two of my ceilings in here. We were going to strip them out. The one leak in the kitchen was right over the top of my grill, and so I’m tearing my grill apart and then I tore out another wall. Before you know it … we just tore out everything,” McCausey says.
Customers will notice a new color scheme inside the restaurant. The old brown and orange color has been replaced with teal, red and plaid. All the cupboards and countertops have been replaced. The barstools and other seating have been refurnished as well.
McCausey is excited about the changes and for people to see them.
The Frostop Drive-in, known for its selection of old-fashioned burgers, fries, shakes, sundaes and root beer floats, is the oldest restaurant in Ashton and hails from an era when drive-ins dotted America’s landscape.
“And Yes we still COME OUT AND TAKE YOUR ORDER!!!!! We will leave the tray on your window too,” according to the restaurant’s Facebook page.
The massive rotating Frostop Root Beer Mug outside the restaurant has become an iconic landmark over the years for people traveling along U.S. Highway 20.
Leland Garner was the restaurant’s original owner.
“He sold it in 1973 to Jerald Crittenden from Ashton and two men from St.Anthony. They called it Mug Jugs,” according to Frostop’s website.
Andre Bollaerts from Redondo Beach, California, bought it in 1974 and sold it to George Nedrow and Associates. It became Frostop again when David and Ray Lalonde bought it the following year. The W.D. Chatterton family from Pocatello bought Frostop in 1978 and retained ownership until 1994, when they sold it to Roger Weber.
Weber owned it when McCausey started working there 22 years ago. She and her husband, Wayne, bought it in 2007.
“I managed it a couple of years before, and I had worked for (Roger) for several years, and I really wanted it. He let me buy it straight from him. He financed it for me,” McCausey says.
After all these years, McCausey says she loves interacting with customers and the opportunity it gives her to work with the community in other capacities. In addition to her involvement at the Museum of the Henry’s Fork, she and her husband host the Ashton Flea Market.
The couple will be involved in the Ashton Easter Egg Hunt on April 5. It will be held at North Fremont High School at 10 a.m. The weekend after Easter, they’ll also be hosting a fundraiser at Frostop on behalf of Kaitlyn Baldwin, a North Fremont High School student who passed away several months ago.
“Fifty percent of the proceeds and all donations from that day will go towards scholarships for her class,” McCausey says.
Frostop Drive-In is open 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday with a 9 p.m. closing time Friday and Saturday.
Local roofing company provides experience for high school students in event that benefits disabled veterans
IDAHO FALLS – Teton Steel, a veteran and family-owned metal roofing and siding manufacturer and supplier for the past 25 years in Idaho Falls, is teaming up with other local organizations to donate metal roofing for sheds during the Construction Combine event on April 7 and 8 at Home Depot. During the event, students will have hands-on experience building a shed while receiving instruction that will help them further their career path. The sheds will be donated to local disabled veterans. The overall goal is for students to learn construction skills and put their handyman and woodworking skills to use. Students will also be trained in different stations, including electrical, plumbing, drywall, siding, roofing framing and flooring.
New Maverik opening in Pocatello next week
POCATELLO – A new Maverik convenience store is opening on the south side of Pocatello next week. Sheila Merrigan, Maverik’s executive regional director, tells EastIdahoNews.com the 5,600-square-foot building at 3400 South 5th Avenue will open Tuesday, March 30, at 6 a.m.. There will not be an official grand opening due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new store has a much larger presence than Pocatello’s three other stores, Merrigan says, and will feature panoramic images of “spectacular places right in Idaho.” There will also be imaging and video content on the store’s TVs, gas pumps and fountain dispensers, along with high-flow gas pumps and CAT scales for trucks. EastIdahoNews.com will post a more in-depth story Thursday.