Heidi Trittin and her husband Eric never had any intention of resurrecting the drive in at Lidgerwood. Sure, it used to be a staple along main street, but after watching it close two times in the past 10 years, undertaking this business venture was a risk — for someone else.
But every time they drove by the empty drive in, they wondered, perhaps dreamed of possibilities. One day Heidi Trittin walked into Lincoln State Bank after the bank bought the business at auction and asked one simple question, “What do you plan on doing with the old drive in?”
That prompted an immediate sense of movement and suddenly the Trittins were in business negotiations with LSB President and CEO Bob Wurl.
“This would never have happened without Bob Wurl,” Trittin said. “We are so thankful for him.”
The original Tastee Freeze opened in 1964, then closed in 2013 when the owners retired. It opened briefly in 2015, but soon closed. The drive in had been closed for four years. That saddened Trittin, she said, who remembers what it was like to have this hang-out as a teen.
“When I was a kid, we always had a Tastee Freeze. It’s been a long time since we’ve had some place for the kids to go,” she said.
Customer Dawn Henderson remembers those early days with the Tastee Freeze. When she became a wife and mother, it was an easy meal during a busy summer night, Henderson said. She was at the Circle T for a cold treat one afternoon, busy reading the tabletops filled with newspaper stories from Lidgerwood’s early days that Trittin found in the News Monitor archives.
“This is great for Lidgerwood, for businesses that were closed to re-open again. Business brings business to a community. Plus, it’s nice to have another option in Lidgerwood,” Henderson said.
It has been a fast and furious few months as the Trittins prepared for their May 4 opening. Eric Trittin manned the grilled that first day, while Heidi Trittin finished orders. She now runs the grill the entire day since her husband is a farmer and is in the field. She does have help from throughout the community with people calling to see if she needs an extra pair of hands to take orders. She also hired staff with the hopes she won’t have to be at the Circle T running the grill all day, every day.
This is a business, but she said she has been having so much fun these past few weeks. Cooking is what she does, so she couldn’t be any happier than to be feeding the community all the home-made items found on their menu, which includes fresh-baked bread made daily. There is the Hot Rod Burger named after son, Noah, filled with hot cheese, Frank’s Hot Sauce and jalapeno peppers. Their signature burger — the Brutus Burger — is named after daughter Avery, who Eric Trittin nicknamed Brutus at birth. Avery is petite, while the Brutus is anything but.