For 50 years, Peters’ Drive-In has been attracting long line-ups in Calgary. Customers could soon be queuing up in Gasoline Alley as well.
The owners of the famed burger joint plan to open a second location on Leva Avenue, south of Largo Street. They hope to begin serving customers some time between the spring and fall of 2015.
Founded in 1962 by Gus Pieters, a Dutch immigrant who worked as a baker and pastry chef before moving to Canada in 1954, Peters’ Drive-In is a fast-food institution in Calgary. Located on 16th Avenue N.E., near Edmonton Trail, the restaurant is known for its never-frozen burgers, fresh cut fries, and more than 4,500 combinations of milkshakes made with real ice cream and fruit.
Joanne Rowe and her husband Stephen Hayden bought the restaurant in 2005 — three years before Pieters died at the age of 77.
Rowe, who is president of the company that operates the business, said in an email that she and Hayden were looking for a suitable location north of Calgary for a second restaurant when they spotted the Gasoline Alley site. They purchased that parcel and plan to build a restaurant there that will look similar to the original in Calgary, including green space and outdoor tables for customers.
“The only two differences will be that the Red Deer location will have only a single drive-thru and it will have an indoor eating area, unlike the Calgary location, which has a double drive-thru and no indoor dining.”
Rowe said the new restaurant will be corporate owned.
“We don’t want to franchise as we want to have total control over all of our operations. We want customers to receive exactly what they would receive if they came to Calgary and we believe the best way to do that is to have some of our great people make it all happen.”
Further expansion is possible, with Rowe and Hayden currently looking for suitable property in Edmonton. They’ve also spoken to a real estate agent in Saskatchewan.
The Gasoline Alley Peters’ Drive-In is expected to employ 60 to 70 people.