Taste the Tradition: Scotty’s Drive-In keeps its retro-charm

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With a restaurant that bills itself as Bismarck’s second-oldest, KX News stopped by Scotty’s Drive-In for a taste of nostalgia.

It opened in September of 1964.

“This was my first date I had. Back in 1968 my dad would take me here and we would be outside eating on the picnic tables, and feeding the birds fries. So, you have just lots of memories and dating, marriages,” said Kurt Dilger, the owner of Scotty’s Drive-In. “The first burger place they ever went to. This was their after-school spot, stuff like that. There’s just lots of memories here.”

Even the manager of the store says she, too, has an emotional connection to the place.

“I used to come as a child to Scotty’s and have like the twisted cones and eat here a lot. I feel if it were to leave, a lot of customers would be sad,” Suzanne Jackson said.

Dilger says the reason it’s stood the test of time is pretty simple.

“We have unique food. We have a unique building, which is kind of a retro-style building. We have car shows. We have those things that just… only an independent restaurant could really have.”

So, what are customers saying they like most about the restaurant?

“What’s appealing to me is that it’s not a franchise. It’s independently owned. The little guy. That’s what I like,” said Rod Auer.

For decades, the restaurant has stuck to its retro roots, but what does the future look like for Scotty’s?

“We’re going to go back to the original. How it was in 65. There were some things that were very historic that were taken down by the previous owners. So, we’re going to put them back up,” Dilger explained.

“I don’t want to say that we’re going to stay old school all the time. Because as time goes on, you know, the old school, the 60s and 70s, those people, they’re getting older, they don’t go out as much.”

Scotty’s motto is “Home of the Best”, so what is the best you can get at Scotty’s?

“I got a rebel burger. And we got some fries with gravy on them. I’m a happy Scotty’s customer,” said Auer.

Dilger adds that he hopes to have the renovations done by next Spring and looks forward to many more years serving the Bismarck community.

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