This History of
I think Vaughn Rupe knew exactly what he was doing on April 1st of 1962. On that day, he and my mother Carol began operation of the A&W in Blackfoot, Idaho . My father was the milk man who delivered to the existing restaurant and was given the opportunity to take it over by the owner. On that day they opened, serving 5 cent ice cream cones, 30 cent burgers and 5 cent fries. The building was very small, with a grill, one fryer, inside seating for 10 at a counter that had a direct view of the entire kitchen area, and outside carhop service for 16 vehicles. Business was good.
In 1978, they decided to sell. The business was offered to all of the kids in the family, but, with all of us having grown up working in the restaurant, all of us declined. So Dad sold the business out of the family. The new owners ran as an A&W for about 5 years, at that time losing the franchise. From 1983 to 1986 it was operated as “R&B Drive-inn”. In 1986 it closed down for business and remained vacant till June 6, 1987 when I Kevin Rupe purchased the restaurant.
The name was changed to Rupes Burgers and from the first day people flowed in as a result of the reputation from my father and the operation that he had ran. We ran a crew of about 16 on the payroll, running 5 workers per shift. Lucky for me they were a dedicated and hardworking crew. My son Tyler and my daughter, Tara, who had both grown up in the restaurant, were both working there. Our sales volume increased every year and by 1995 we were busting at the seam of our small building and expanding the building was the only option. Business was good. But in 1998, we were finally approved. The plans were drawn with my father and I reviewing every detail. He was as excited as I was. Unfortunately, Dad passed away a couple of months before we broke ground. The new restaurant was built directly behind the old restaurant so we could remain open till we as long as we could then move, tear down the old place, put up the canopy, pave and open. It was a bitter-sweet day the old restaurant came down. We opened the new restaurant in August of 1999, with inside seating of about 100 and outside carhop service for 20 cars. We have a crew of around 45 and run 12 to 13 employees per shift. My son Tyler, who has graduated from Idaho State , is now co-owner. And my daughter Camille works in the business as well. Business is good. I guess Dad knew what he was doing.