The Santa Queen turns 40
Some businesses brag that they have been in business for 10 years or 20 years, but a business in Santaquin has celebrated 40 years in business. That is remarkable for any and deserves a special note of congratulations. The business is the Santa Queen Drive-in and it is currently owned by Colby Stevenson, the grandson of the lady who started the lady who opened the restaurant Memorial Day weekend, 1977.
At the age of 43, Kathleen Williams left her job with Mountain Bell and the Family Restaurant and established the first drive-in restaurant in Santaquin, Utah. Opening day was crazy busy and then, the potato peeler pulled off the wall. They made it through the day and have been going strong ever since. Her daughter, Kelly Stevenson, has worked at the Santa Queen for 26 years. Karen Wall has been working as a cook at the restaurant for 27 years. Kathleen is now 83 and excited to talk about the business she started 40 years ago.
Over the years, all of her children and grandchildren have worked at the Santa Queen. One purpose of the enterprise was to teach employees how to do their best and have good work ethics. Kathleen’s grandson, Kelly’s son, Colby Stevenson bought the restaurant a few years ago and is passionate about continuing the success of the restaurant.
When Kathleen was asked if knowing what she does now would she do it again, the answer was definitely yes. She likes the idea of a family business and likes to treat customers like family. It is neat to have been in business this long because parents are coming in with their kids who came in as kids, with their parents, years ago.
This past summer Colby bought Reeds Drive-in in Nephi and changed the name to Nebo Queen with the same menu as the Santa Queen. Reeds was another small community drive-in that had served the community for many years, and because of this, it was important for Colby to continue employing all of the staff for all who wanted to stay. Between the two restaurants, they have about 54 employees.
The favorite menu items are: the Super Double Cheeseburger which has ½ pound meat; Bacon Crunch which has crunchy chicken strips; Oreo shakes; Onion Rings which are hand-dipped; the homemade sauces. Nothing at the Santa Queen or Nebo Queen Drive-in is pre-cooked. As a closing note, a local dentist writes prescriptions for ice cream cones.
The Santa Queen restaurant opened Memorial Day weekend, 1977.
The Nebo Queen, formerly Reeds DriveIn, in Nephi.