For nearly 90 years eating at Dee’s has been a family tradition. Dee Anderson, a farm boy from Ephraim, came to Salt Lake City in 1924 with little more than the desire and determination to be in the restaurant business. In 1931, Dee borrowed $35, bought meat, pickles, and buns and began offering Utah citizens their first five-cent hamburger. Dee’s nine-stool hamburger stands sprang up around the city and were recognized as centers of hospitality.
During the golden era known as “the Fifties”, Dee introduced Utah to the high volume drive-in. All during this time, Dee expanded and refined the family restaurant concept to provide comfortable and clean surroundings accompanied with the finest quality food at an affordable price. Mr. Dee Anderson (1905-1997) passed away after celebrating 70 years of marriage and a lifetime of service in the restaurant community. Dee’s Family Restaurants are still locally owned and operated by JML Restaurants and are committed to maintain the same standard of excellence you have come to expect.
Dee’s was known for the iconic clown on the buildings, I found these two photos (below) online here and here.
There are few Dee’s locations left, and the only one that still has a clown (the weather vane on the roof) and a vintage neon rotating sign is the location at 700 E 2100 S in Salt Lake.
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.