Island Icon Celebrates 60th Year

Posted June 6, 2018 at 5:50 am by

An early Vic’s sign with founders Vic and Margaret Reynolds in front of their drive-in - San Juan Historical Society and Museum photo

The SJI His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety checks in with their month­ly His­to­ry Col­umn for June…

This month’s col­umn rec­og­nizes not an icon­ic islander but rather an icon­ic busi­ness. A favorite of many dur­ing its 60 years, Vic’s Dri­ve-In opened on June 28, 1958. Call it a Dri­ve Inn or Dri­ve-In, it’s always been Vic’s and the ham­burg­ers have always been tops with all ages, from one gen­er­a­tion to the next.

Vic­tor and Mar­garet Guard Reynolds had a good idea back in 1958 and backed it up with a mod­ern design for a clas­sic dri­ve-in when they had the restau­rant built on their Sec­ond Street prop­er­ty, next door to their home. The diner’s orig­i­nal design fea­tured a walk-up win­dow for order­ing (indoor seat­ing was added much lat­er), with tables along the side of the build­ing and in the back.

The Reynolds owned Vic’s for twelve years, retir­ing in 1970 when they sold to Jack and Shar­ron Louthan. Some remod­el­ing was done then and Vic’s re-opened under the man­age­ment of Sharron’s par­ents, Vir­gil and Lucille Bryant. Kevin Wid­may­er and Lin­da Jensen bought Vic’s in 2000 and car­ried on the tra­di­tion of an Amer­i­can fam­i­ly-style menu and friend­ly ser­vice for the next six­teen years.

Anoth­er tra­di­tion at Vic’s was the gath­er­ing of the Rusty Zip­per Club, which met reg­u­lar­ly for cof­fee, gos­sip, and tall tales. The club was so well-known that it was men­tioned in a trib­ute to “char­ter mem­ber” Clyde Sund­strom at his 2006 memo­r­i­al service.

A new chap­ter in Vic’s his­to­ry began in 2016 when Bri­an and There­sa Carl­son became own­ers and now car­ry on its suc­cess­ful tra­di­tion of a clas­sic Amer­i­can din­er menu, served with a smile. The Carl­sons invite all to its 60th Anniver­sary cel­e­bra­tion this June 28. Hap­py 60th, Vic’s!

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  1. Trish Har­ris and Mike Sharkey owned Vic’s before Kevin & Lin­da. They had it for sev­er­al years.

    Comment by Diane Buganski on June 6, 2018 at 8:15 am
  2. Thanks for your com­ment, Diane.

    Comment by Robin Jacobson on June 6, 2018 at 10:18 am
  3. Glen Camp­bell before that

    Comment by Danielle on June 6, 2018 at 10:21 am
  4. Thank you, Danielle.

    Comment by Robin Jacobson on June 6, 2018 at 11:14 am
  5. Thanks for post­ing this, Tim! A great way to gath­er his­tor­i­cal infor­ma­tion for the muse­um’s archives!

    Comment by Shaun Hubbard on June 6, 2018 at 5:10 pm
  6. This arti­cle left out the Glen Camp­bell own­er­ship years as well:

    Comment by Judy Cornell on June 6, 2018 at 7:31 pm
  7. The San Juan His­tor­i­cal Muse­um sends thanks all who com­ment. As Shaun said, this is a great way to gath­er infor­ma­tion for the archives. Much of our local his­to­ry has not been record­ed and every addi­tion to donat­ed mate­ri­als and rec­ol­lec­tions is a plus.

    Comment by Robin Jacobson on June 6, 2018 at 8:53 pm
  8. And when it was owned by Glen Camp­bell, its name was changed to Drift­wood Dri­ve In.

    Comment by Tim Dustrude on June 6, 2018 at 9:17 pm
  9. Now we have the Drift­wood Dri­ve-In con­nect­ed to Glen Camp­bell. Thanks, Tim. Two more pieces of the jig­saw puz­zle fit together!

    Comment by Robin Jacobson on June 6, 2018 at 9:19 pm
  10. Word is first burg­er was bought by Pat McCutcheon and sec­ond by Skeeter Lowe.

    Comment by Brian carlson on June 13, 2018 at 7:47 pm
  11. Thank you, Bri­an. This is the kind of detail that adds to a great local his­to­ry story.

    Comment by Robin Jacobson on June 14, 2018 at 9:21 am

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