There really was a guy named “Zip.” Robert “Zip” Zuber built his first Zip’s Drive-in with the motto “Thrift and Swift” in Kennewick Washington in 1953, wisely figuring to serve the workers, scientists, and their families coming to the Tri-Cities to work in the new nuclear industry.
Zip knew they would be looking for a quick meal at a fair price and boy was Zip right, they came in droves for the fresh-off-the-grill hamburgers, hand-cut halibut, crinkle-cut fries made fresh and the tartar sauce made from scratch.
Zip built his next store, in Spokane, on North Division – an immediate hit with the students at nearby Gonzaga College. In 1958 he sold the store to Jake Vorrath who then opened the second Spokane drive-in on this site of the well-known, Gage’s Diner on Northwest Boulevard, he in turn sold the store to Harold Laing, and the Division Street store to the drive-in’s young manager, Harold Fettig. Laing passed away in 1969, and his wife sold the business to Ed Minor, a Nalley’s Potato Chip salesman, who partnered with Don Kelly, a Wonder Bread salesman. Fettig, Minor, Kelly their families and former store managers remain operators of the majority of the Zip’s Drive-ins today.