Forty years later, Paul’s drive-in returns to downtown Victoria

Unique restaurant idea was popular on opening weekend

Carhop Cat Parker hands a root beer float to Gerald Mikkers at the newly opened Paul's Drive In on Sunday. The drive-in

A 1931 Ford Model A truck was the first to ceremoniously pull into the reopened drive-in last Saturday at Paul’s Motor Inn.

The original drive-in closed in 1972, but the restaurant, with its retro style still clearly visible through big windows facing Douglas Street, has operated at the front of the motel since then.

Paul’s has brought car-hop service back for the summer on weekends as a way to celebrate the restaurant’s 60th anniversary.

Some of the original carhops were brought back for the reopening, which proved so popular on the first day that the restaurant ran out of hamburger and fries and had to shut down three hours earlier than planned.

The closure back in 1972 predates the birth of the new drive-in staff.

During their interview for the job, the first question they faced from general manager Michael King was ‘What’s a car hop?’

“A lot of them didn’t know what it was,”King said.

The drive-in has 17 parking slots and five picnic tables.

“If it takes off and there’s enough call for it, we’ll do it again next summer,” said King.

The drive-in is open for carhop service from 4 to 11 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays until Sept. 30.

rholmen@vicnews.com