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February 25, 2010

Yep. Time to post another use of the coupon basket.

I ♥ Scotty's midcentury UFO sign

This time, I went to eat at Scotty’s Drive-In, a sit-down fast-food restaurant with a drive-thru window and parking in the former drive-in stalls. I’ve been wanting to eat there, simply because of their sign. So cool!

Scotty’s menu is stacked with several types of burgers, some of which are named for local interests: Bluff Burger, Big Red Burger. There are no descriptions of what the various burgers are, so I asked, and the differences seemed mostly to be in the size and number of patties. Another customer overheard that I’d not been to Scotty’s before, and she repeated what I’d heard before: that the fries are the best in town. She also recommended ordering cheese sauce along with the fries.

The burger that I got was nothing special. Typical fast-food burger on a par with McD’s. The fries were very consistent in thickness, color, and crispness, so I guess they could be in the running for “best in town”.

One thing I really like about Scotty’s, other than the sign, is the beverage menu. Scotty’s hasn’t sold out to any particular cola king. If you order a diet soda, you have a choice of Pepsi, Coke, or Dr. Pepper. And they have shakes and malts on the menu. I saw a shake mixer behind the counter, so it looks like the shakes are hand done and not dispensed from a nozzle. Sometime, when I get a craving for junk food, I’ll go back for fries-dipped-in-chocolate-malt.

I had a moment of disappointment when writing this post, though. I Googled “Scotty’s Hamburgers”, and found that, alas, Scotty’s is not as unique as I thought. I found links to Scotty’s Drive-In restaurants with the same midcentury font on their signs in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Aberdeen, South Dakota, and Bismarck, North Dakota. The Bismarck location’s menu features differently-named burgers: Rebel, Outlaw. I found a Scottie’s Drive-In located in Forest Grove, Oregon. There’s also online evidence of Scotty’s of years past in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Sunny Isles, Florida.

I learned from a Bismarck information website:

“Scotty’s was once a regional restaurant chain, with locations in at least six states, however the Bismarck location is now one of only three known survivors, all of which have no connection to each other. There were four operating locations up until 2009, when the location in Aberdeen, SD switched names and formats.”

The comment that the restaurant “switched names and formats” doesn’t quite do justice to what happened at the Aberdeen location. As I read on another blog, they destroyed the Scotty’s sign! Tore down the über-cool midcentury modern UFO sign!

The Scottsbluff Scotty’s Drive-In is a remnant of midcentury Americana that’s becoming more and more rare. I, for one, will do my part to help it stay a part of the Scottsbluff streetscape. I hereby vow that whenever I get a grease craving, I’ll quench it at Scotty’s.


Interesting. The link I included for the Abderdeen, South Dakota, site was to a tourism wesbite. The restaurant had been remodeled beyond all recognition in October ‘09, but it was still listed on the tourism website as of yesterday morning. I tried to show the link to someone, and THE PHOTO’S BEEN TAKEN OFF THE SITE. Does that mean that someone other than my mom and three friends is reading this??


Hold the phone! The Aberdeen Scotty’s UFO sign wasn’t destroyed . . . just modified:

Copyright 2010 by Katie Bradshaw

Scotty's Drive-In on Urbanspoon

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 24, 2011 4:42 pm

    Stopping at Scotty’s for lunch in Scottsbluff is one of my favorite memories of growing up. We traveled a lot between Casper, Wyoming, where we lived, and Sterling, Colorado, where my grandmother lived. That was about 45 years ago!! I’m just thrilled to find out it’s still in existence!

  2. del monte sweet peas 0z permalink
    April 18, 2012 7:53 am

    my summer vacation will be sandwiched between hitting up the Scotty’s in Idaho Falls, ID and the one in Scottsbluff, NE. As for the Scotty’s in Aberdeen being renamed “Daddy’s”, sure it has the same named menu items but it is not the same (and hella overpriced). RIP Scotty’s.


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