Another in my oldest in Utah series, this one is the oldest restaurants. As is the case with all of my lists – I just build the list as I come across places so it is probably far from complete but I’m always adding to it.
- 1914 – Bluebird Restaurant in Logan
- 1926 – Mom’s Cafe in Salina
- 1929 – Family Cafe in Brigham City
- 1932 – Dee’s Family Restaurants (3 remaining, 700 E, 2085 S Redwood, 4710 Redwood)
- 1933 – Cowan’s Cafe in Duchesne
- 1936 – Mollie’s Café in Snowville
- 1940 – Thunderbird in Mt Carmel
- 1940 – Chick’s Café in Heber
- 1944 – Arshel’s Café in Beaver
- 1945 – El Bambi Cafe in Beaver
- 1946 – Dairy Keen in Heber
- 1947 – Silver Fork Lodge in Big Cottonwood Canyon
1947 – Kitty Pappas Steakhouse in Woods Cross
- 1948 – Polar Queen in Payson
- 1949 – Maddox Ranch House Inc in Perry
- 1950 – Arctic Circle
- 1950 – Cluffs Car Hop Cafe in Fillmore
- 1950 – Warrens Family Restaurant in Roy
- 1951 – Ab’s Drive-In in West Valley
- 1954 – Daley Freez in Payson
- 1954 – Milt’s Stop and Eat in Moab
- 1955 – Ripple’s Drive-In in Provo
- 1956 – Brick Oven/Heaps A Pizza in Provo
- 1956 – Burger Bar in Roy
- 1957 – Sill’s Cafe in Layton
- 1959 – L.D.’s Café in Richmond
- 1959 – Hires Big H in Salt Lake
- 1959 – Iceberg Drive Inn in Millcreek
- 1962 – Glade’s Drive-Inn in Spanish Fork
- 1968 – Purple Turtle in Pleasant Grove
- 1970 – Nate’s Diner in Provo
- 1971 – Porter’s Place in Lehi (moved to Eureka in 2018)
- 1973 – Chuck-a-rama in Orem
- 1975 – Rocky Mountain Drive-In in Provo
- 1977 – Leslie’s Family Tree in Santaquin
- 1977 – Santa Queen Drive-Inn in Santaquin
- 1977 – Canton Village/Lucky 5 in Spanish Fork
- 1978 – Joe Vera’s in Provo
- 1978 – La Casita in Springville
- 1978 – The Italian Place in Lindon
- 1980 – Sensuous Sandwich in Provo
- 1980 – Taco Amigo in Orem
- 1981 – Magleby’s in Springville
- 1981 – Los Hermanos (moved from Provo to Orem after 2019 fire)
- 1983 – Mi Ranchito in Orem
- 1984 – La Dolce Vita in Provo
- 1986 – One Man Band in Payson (other locations still open)
- 1987 – Tommy’s Burgers in Provo
- 1990 – Burgers Supreme in Provo
- 1992 – Zubs in Springville
- 1993 – Bombay House in Provo
- 1994 – Art City Trolley in Springville
- 1996 – Owl Bar at Sundance
- 1996 – Shirley’s Bakery in Provo
- 1997 – T-Bone in Springville
Bluebird in Logan, 1914
Douglass E Stevenson said:
The Polar Queen in Payson, Utah, is more than 35 years older than the date listed. It is more than 73 years old and was the first fast food drive-in in Payson. It dates to 1946 when Jess and Wanda Sorensen Bachman built it along with the Turf Café and Service Station on U.S. Highway 91 at 800 South 100 West in Payson.
The Bachmans built the Polar Queen drive-in on the north side of the Turf Café to take advantage of the heavy traffic on old US Highway 91. They lived in a small house at 745 South 100 West, about a hundred yards north of their restaurant. In 1947, the Bachmans turned over the Polar Queen to Wanda’s brother George Sorensen, who ran it until 1952.
In 1952 after George left to start his own Polar Queen in Henderson, Nevada, the Bachmans hired Byron “By” Staheli as the chef and general manager of the Turf Café and Polar Queen. He was a brilliant chef and restaurateur who already had a popular cafe at 54 North on Payson Main Street. His authentic English fish and chips recipe is still used in the present day Polar Queen.
Around 1958, a fire caused irreparable damage the original Polar Queen and caused the Bachmans rebuild a new Polar Queen on the site of their home. The present day Polar Queen stands where the Bachman house once stood at 745 South 100 West.
Sometime around 1959, the Bachmans sold the Polar Queen to Gene and Coleen Brereton Thomas, who changed its name to “Gene’s Polar Queen”. They ran it for the next 19 years. They sold out in 1979 to Amadeo O. “Frix” Frixione and his wife Glenda Brereton Frixione, a niece of Coleen.
The Frixiones returned its name to just plain “Polar Queen” and ran it for the next 26 years. Frix passed away in January, 2017. But the Polar Queen remained in the family. Presently, Frix and Glenda’s daughter Andrea Frixione Caussey continues to manage the Polar Queen in Payson.
Jacob Barlow said:
I appreciate the info! I have updated the pages and credited you.
Douglass E Stevenson said:
The Daley Freeze in Payson, Utah is much older than the date listed. It opened for business in June, 1954 and was originally called “Dairy Freez”. Douglass Dixon, a local grocery store owner, built the drive-in across the street from his grocery store on property formerly owned by the Salt Lake & Utah Railroad also called “The Orem Line”, which had ceased operations in 1946.
Dixon built his drive-in hoping to secure a Dairy Queen franchise and ordered a sign with “Dairy Queen” on it. When he failed to secure the DQ franchise, he simply had the sign repainted with “Dairy Freez” on it. He dropped the “e” in freeze because it didn’t fit on the sign.
When the fast food drive-in business became overcrowded in the 1970s, Dixon sold his Dairy Freez to Donald and Gaylia Daley in 1972. The new owners rechristened it “Daley Freez”. Don continued with the Daley Freez until his death at age 90 in 2017. His daughter Donna Daley Tipton took it over and has managed it to the present.
Jacob Barlow said:
Thank you for the information! I have updated the pages and credited you.
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