Originally Published: December 13, 2013 6 a.m.
A step into the '50s Diner at Cordes Junction is like taking a step back in time.
Owners Jerry and Robbin Schultz make every effort to impress the patrons who visit their restaurant, just beyond the Shell gas station. Old 45 records adorn the wall of the themed restaurant, each with a bit of trivia on the cover. Murals of life in the '50s can also be found both inside and outside the restaurant.
The couple also operates the Backseat Bar - attached to the restaurant - and own a motel and RV park located close to the establishment.
The family bought the restaurant after selling a restaurant equipment distribution business in California. First, they traveled the country by RV, however.
"Because we're so big into RVs, when this property came open, we thought it might be fun to own an RV park. The property evolved from that," Jerry Schultz said.
Robbin Schultz said she grew up in a restaurant in Minnesota.
"My mom had a restaurant," she said, adding that they decided to open their Cordes Junction restaurant after seeing a need for home-cooked dining in the community.
"We get quite a few regulars and quite a few travelers," she said. "We make our own chili, we make our own meatloaf, biscuits and gravy. It's a lot of homemade cooking, great service and a friendly atmosphere."
Schultz pays close attention to what people have to say about the restaurant. He reads online reviews, from Yelp, Trip Advisor and other sites, on a regular basis, to ensure good service for patrons. Many of the comments come from local reviewers, but also from patrons who visited the restaurant from as far away as New York.
"Our customers are our paycheck. The customer is the boss. We're the facilitator," he said. "These comments are very important to us."
At the '50s Diner and Backseat Bar, customer favorites include cooked-fresh biscuits and gravy for breakfast for $5.99, served until 3 p.m.; the Betty Boop, a burger with pastrami and Cole slaw; and the half rack of ribs served up every other week, Schultz said. The rib special includes a baked potato, baked beans, a roll and salad. The Polish scramble special is also a favorite among diners at the diner.
The 18-Wheeler, featuring an 18 to 20-ounce ham steak, two eggs, hash browns and choice of English muffin or toast, is also a patron favorite. The large ham steak, Schultz said, covers the whole plate.
"You'd be surprised how many people come in and order it," he said.
The Hawaiian, featuring a 6-ounce chicken breast marinated in teriyaki sauce, a slice of honey dew melon and a pineapple slice soaked in teriyaki, on grilled sourdough with Swiss cheese is also a new favorite at the restaurant.
Other menu items include omelets named for classic cars, pancakes, burgers, seafood, kids choices, Mexican food, and much more.
The Backseat Bar, connected to the '50s Diner, offers happy hour prices from 3-6 p.m. All alcoholic beverages are 50 cents off. Ladies night is Wednesday night from 6-8 p.m. and features half off all ladies drinks. Tuesdays are Taco Tuesday, which features $1 tacos. Thursdays are Wings Day and Fridays are all you can eat fish.