BOISE - Hundreds of locals have been helping Westside Drive-In celebrate its 60th anniversary as a popular fast-food destination. The iconic business started out as a grocery store nearly a century ago, but is still a community staple to this day.
"When I first bought the drive-in we had five employees and six items on the menu," said owner Lou Aaron.
From day one, Aaron says he had a vision for the drive-in. It was to bring good, fresh food to families while still holding on to the its history.
"It's been here so long that people can say 'I asked my first date out here, I used to come here in high school in the 60's for a drink,'" said Aaron. "We kept things pretty basic here, we still yell out orders and we still talk to each other."
A career at the Westside Drive-In wasn't always in the cards for Chef Lou.
"I can think of key moments in my life where I made some bad decisions and someone came up to me and said 'okay, it's okay you screwed up, let's go this way' and gave me a plan," Aaron said.
That's how Aaron treats his employees now. He says they come from all walks of life. Some are refugees and others have been homeless and fallen on hard times, simply looking for a chance.
"I've had people give me second chances and even third chances so we like to hire people and give them chances," Aaron said.
They call it the "Westside way," from the tight-knit family who works behind the counter to the burger, fries, milkshakes and other menu items that are made to order.
"It's about our customers and our employees and building relationships," Aaron said. "Food brings families together. This has been a joy and I don't regret any second of it, it's been a blast."
The big event for the anniversary week is a car show on Wednesday, June 7. The parking lot will be packed with classic cars from 3 - 8 p.m. and there will also be live music and an ice cream potato-eating contest.
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