Walk into the Dairyette, and you’ll see a few reminders of the past: drive-up posts you can hitch your car to while ordering a meal; the root beer machine that’s been there since the place opened nearly five decades ago; and one of three generations of Prikryl men, aproned-up and flipping something on the kitchen grill.
Patriarch Bob Prikryl opened the low-concept but popular neighborhood restaurant in 1954. After son Bob came back from college, he took over. Now, Bob’s son, also named Bob and just a teenager, is following in the family footsteps: He plans to see to it that the tradition is carried on.
All three generations have something in common beside their names and an intense loyalty to their family: The secret root beer float recipe hasn’t changed since the Dairyette first opened.
“We’ve been ordering the same syrup since the beginning,” says the middle Bob, “and it’s just a well-kept secret. The fewer people who know, the better.”
This secret has served them well. Often, there is no room available in the trailer-sized restaurant for diners to sit down. Customers frequently can be seen sitting in the privacy of their own car, feasting on a burger, fries and a malt. Local crowds gather after evening football games at the restaurant, which Bob and wife Sheri have been known to keep open just to accommodate voracious Bishop Lynch or Bryan Adams high school crowds.
Bob went to Bryan Adams, so even though we don’t live here, this is still like our neighborhood,” Sheri says.