Zip built his next store, in Spokane, on North Division – an immediate
hit with the students at nearby Gonzaga College. In 1958 he sold
the store to Jake Vorrath who then opened the second Spokane drive-in
on this site of the well-known, Gage’s Diner on Northwest Boulevard,
he in turn sold the store to Harold Laing, and the Division Street
store to the drive-in’s young manager, Harold Fettig. Laing passed
away in 1969, and his wife sold the business to Ed Minor, a Nalley’s
Potato Chip salesman, who partnered with Don Kelly, a Wonder Bread
salesman. Fettig, Minor, Kelly their families and former store managers
remain operators of the majority of the Zip’s Drive-ins today.
In the 1960’s Zip’s Drive-in was the quintessential American Graffiti-era
drive-in, replete with cars encircling the buildings beneath colorful
awnings, phones for calling in your order from your car or table,
and carhops and waitresses to bring your food. As charming as
this might have been – and as much as it is missed by some – it
was not quick enough to keep up with America’s fast paced lifestyle,
and by the early 70’s drive-ins all over the country were closing.
Minor and Kelly were savvy enough to see this trend and built some
of the Northwest’s first drive-through lanes, allowing Zip’s Drive-in
to remain one of the few local hamburger chains to continue to thrive,
still keeping Robert “Zip” Zuber’s motto “Thrift and Swift” at the
heart of our business today.
Thank you for letting us serve the Northwest over the
past 50 years.