Paul's Drive-In carhop Cat Parker hands a root beer float to Gerald Mikkers last spring. The throwback drive-in is back for a second year

Blast from the past at Paul’s Motor Inn

Step back in time to the golden days of rock ‘n’ roll, James Dean and T-birds as Paul’s Motor Inn revives its diner drive-in

Step back in time to the golden days of rock ‘n’ roll, James Dean and T-birds as Paul’s Motor Inn revives its diner drive-in every weekend this summer.

Paul’s Drive-In (1900 Douglas St.) features the ambience of a ’50s night out, as carhops serve classics like burgers and fries, ice cream floats and banana splits.

Paul’s original diner opened in 1952 with a drive-in on the north side of the building. It lasted until 1972 when the restaurant was renovated, the drive-in was closed, and the motel and lounge were added.

Michael King, general manager of Paul’s Motor Inn, likes the simplicity of the idea.

“You park, turn your lights on, and the carhop comes out and takes your order, then brings your food out to the car on a hanging tray,” he says.

King decided to revive the drive-in experience last summer to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the diner and 40th anniversary of the motel. The event was such a success, organizers felt compelled to bring it back for another summer.

“People just loved it last year,” he says. “We got a lot of response from grandparents who brought in their grandchildren to show them what a drive-in was like back in the day.

“Young people are coming in who’ve never heard of it. They’re slack jawed when the food (tray) is set on their window.”

The menu also includes fish and chips, BLTs, turkey club sandwiches and a unique take on the taquito.

The only tradition missing from this fun night out is rollerskating carhops (a no-no by current insurance standards; how times have changed).

“It’s a lot of new business, though some of the drive-in customers are people who came here during the restaurant’s heyday when it ran 24/7,” King says.

The drive-in is open through August, Fridays from 4 to 10 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Tale of the tray

Paul’s carhop trays come from O’Tray in Broken Arrow, Okla.

Says Paul’s manager Michael King: “O’Tray is the only place I could find that manufactures them. They also make the custom trays for the U.S. chain Sonic Drive-In.”

 

 

Just Posted

Beware of geese: Nesting season may trigger aggressive behaviour

Greater Victoria residents will have to be wary of nesting geese in the area

Royal B.C. Museum faces space, seismic standards and accessibilty issues; calls for public input

People can share their ideas online and in person from April 1 to June 27

British Columbians are paying more for booze but also broccoli

Victoria’s inflation was 2.3 per cent, a tick above Vancouver’s of 2.2 per cent

Scottish cultural centre proposed for View Royal

A 10,000 square foot building is proposed for the Craigflower Manor grounds

Victim of cyber attack speaks out, highlights Sidney generosity

Business association head talks of ‘horrendous consequences’ in wake of scam

Victoria hosts ‘Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave’

The hockey cave was recently featured on a Netflix special

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

SPCA seizes 54 animals from Vernon property

Animals weren’t receiving adequate care

Morneau unveils principles for Indigenous ownership in Trans Mountain pipeline

The controversial pipeline was bought by Ottawa last year

Refugee who sheltered Edward Snowden in Hong Kong arrives in Canada

Vanessa Rodel and her seven-year-old daughter Keana arrived in Toronto this week

New UMSCA trade deal getting a boost from Trump, business groups

The trade deal is designed to supplant the North American Free Trade Agreement

Trudeau says he, Wilson-Raybould had cordial conversation last week

Trudeau denies anything improper occurred regarding SNC-Lavalin and the PMO

SNC-Lavalin backtracks on CEO’s comments surrounding potential job losses

Top boss had said protecting 9,000 jobs should grant leniency

Vancouver Island home to B.C.’s luckiest lotto store

Five million-dollar winners have bought tickets from same Port Alberni corner store

Most Read