BRIGHAM CITY – Peach City Drive-In, in Brigham City, is still killing it on the weekends, and lunch and dinner times, with the same great service and food they had when they first opened in 1937. The magic is their homemade ice cream, milk shakes, sundaes and a variety of sodas.
Bill Harris built the eatery after graduating from Utah State University in Dairy Science. He thought drawing on the traffic going and coming between Utah and Idaho would bring success. In 1942, Peach City got a boost when the government built a hospital to treat soldiers injured in WWII.
Harris’ vision paid off. Peach City has lasted the test of time. The original eatery was located at 129 South Main, where a banana split used to cost .20 cents, .12 cents for a soda, and the hourly wage was .15 cents.
After 20 years in the same location, Harris saw the writing on the wall with the freeway being built west of town and Thiokol coming to the area. In 1957, he not only changed the location, but made it into a drive-in, where people could order form their car. He began using carhops, which were the way to do it in the 1950’s and 60’s. Carhops are still working cars and customers at the restaurant today.
Kevin Hall and Nathan Hyde took ownership of Peach City 11 years ago, in July of 2008. The two both worked at a fast food restaurant at the same time and talked about owning a restaurant together.
The two are still partners, but Hall does the day-to-day operations while Hyde makes sure all the business concerns are met.
“Some people think Nate is a silent partner,” he said. “He is not, he is very involved; we talk several times a week.”
They decided to check with Harvey Morgan and his wife Bonnie, who owned Peach City at that time. The Morgans both worked at the diner and Harvey managed it. When Harris’ health began to fail, he asked the Morgan’s to take over the place.
Hall was managing the Golden Corral in Ogden, Nate was an executive for Honeyville Farms. They were serious about collaborating on a restaurant when Peach City came up.
“We talked to Harvey and Bonnie and they were looking to sell,” Hall Said. “We grew up going to Peach City. Everyone in Brigham knows about the place.”
Hall and Hyde felt like it could work. Hall was 26 at the time.
“During the early 2000’s there was a dip in sales, but since 2012 we have experienced an 8-15 percent increase in sales,” Hall said. “We’ve more than doubled our sales since we bought it.”
They added a lighted patio for more seating, added restrooms upstairs, and introduced a few new sandwiches; but they still use the original ice cream recipe.
He said their homemade ice cream, home-cut fries and nostalgia have always brought in customers.
“People come in and hang out,” Hall said. ”It’s a social place, a place where memories can be made.”
The employees seem to be happy, which means a lot to Hall.
“There is a new energy here,” he said. “A lot of our employees start working when they are 16 years old and work until they go on missions or to college.”
Hall said he didn’t know until recently that he has the Box Elder High School Sophomore, Junior and Senior Class presidents working there.
“Smiling employees will go a long way to help a business,” he said. “And business is booming right now.”