After a one-year hiatus, a staple of Coeur d’Alene’s summer scene will return.
Mark Randolph, who has 15 years of experience in food service, has purchased Roger’s Ice Cream & Burgers at 13th Street and Sherman Avenue and plans to reopen the landmark downtown drive-in within two weeks.
Randolph is a former executive chef at Seattle’s Palisade restaurant who has also worked at restaurants in Tacoma, Los Angeles, Dallas and Cincinnati.
Now he’s marrying Nicole Matthews, whose family is from Coeur d’Alene, and he was looking for a business to own and operate as they settle here and start a family, he said.
Randolph said he’ll keep Roger’s the way it’s been for years, offering homemade burgers and fries and ice cream flavors such as Moose Tracks and Caramel Caribou, provided by Emerald Distributors, of Sandpoint. He might add a retractable awning for shade, and maybe some turkey and veggie burgers to the menu, but he doesn’t plan any other major changes.
“It’s a local icon. It goes back so many years,” said Randolph, 35. “It would be ridiculous to change it.”
He said the prices will remain about the same, and he plans to hire eight to 12 part-time workers. As he and his future father- and mother-in-law, Chuck and Cindy Matthews, worked at the drive-in Tuesday afternoon, at least a half-dozen young people stopped by to fill out applications.
Roger’s Ice Cream began in 1940 in Moscow and moved to Coeur d’Alene in the 1980s, news reports show. In 1992, it moved from its former home at Fourth Street and Sherman to its current home. Andrew and Lisa Getas of Carson City, Nev., purchased the business in 2006 from DJ and Debbie Edmiston and Sherry Morrison. It was open in 2006 and 2007, but closed last summer.
“What I do, I want it to be great,” Randolph said. “I want to open it up and be really successful.”