When hundreds of former White Pine High School students return to their former stomping grounds over the Fourth of July weekend, they will have a nostalgic surprise waiting for them. As part of the weekend long celebration of the past, students from Learning Bridge Charter School will be bringing an old favorite, Pete’s Drive In, back to life.
Student volunteers will run the closed drive in on July 3 and 4 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. serving the first “Momma” and “Poppa” burgers since the last time it was opened for a class reunion in 2000. Silver State Restaurant owner Don Griffiths has partnered with the charter school to help provide the food and supplies needed to flip the burgers, grill up the foot-long hot dogs and even Corn Chip Pies (also known as the Frito Pie back in Pete’s heyday).
Karri Bath, a member of Learning Bridge’s Board of Directors, said that the school jumped at the opportunity to get involved when they were first approached by one of the reunion’s organizers.
“As soon as the board found out, we knew we had to be a part of it. For us being involved was a no-brainer,” Bath said.
In addition to selling old Pete’s menu items, Griffiths beer and wine license will allow him and the school to sell alcohol as well. All the money raised by the food and drink sales will go back to the charter school. Griffiths, who has been a big supporter of Learning Bridge since his wife Luanne helped form the school two years ago, said that the kids who volunteer at the drive in will get some valuable work expereince.
“I think it will be great for the kids. They’ll get to help run a business and learn what its like, plus it’s all for their benefit so I was happy to help,” Griffiths said.
Karri’s husband Jason Bath, who is helping clean up the drive in before it opens on July 3, remembers Pete’s Drive In as the place to hangout when he was in high school.
“I think 90 percent of people in this town have probably eaten a Momma or Poppa burger and those people that are coming back into town for the reunion will get to relive that experience alongside their old friends,” Bath said.
While Griffiths has been the main contributor to getting the the food and drinks ready for the holiday weekend, many other local businesses and families have also chipped in.
“I really want to thank everyone in the community that has helped make this possible. It will make for a special weekend,” Bath said.