Win's Drive-In closing after 52 years
A longtime Fairhaven burger drive-in will close at the end of April but will undergo an extensive remodel before re-opening with a new name.
Win’s Drive-In announced on its Facebook page that its last day of business is Saturday, April 30. Seung and Soon Jin purchased the business in 2004; their lease was expiring at the end of the month, and they decided not to extend it.
In their Facebook post the family thanked their staff and the friends they’ve made while running the business for 12 years. On the last day of business they plan on giving away around 50 Win’s T-shirts to the first customers who spend more than $5 on an order.
“We can't even begin to express our appreciation for all of our customers’ love and support for us for all these years. We will truly leave with all of amazing memories of our time and history at this place,” part of the post said.
Jim Swift, owner of the building at 1315 12th St., has plans for a major remodel. He hopes it will give the business the updating it needs while keeping the spirit of a 1960s drive-in. He plans on closing the business during the remodel, which will include putting in new equipment, roof work and repainting the building.
He expects the work to take about a month. He’s not sure at this point if he can get it all done in time for Ski to Sea weekend, which is May 28-29.
Once it reopens, the business will be renamed Zane Burger. Swift had considered the idea of keeping the Win’s name but decided they were making enough changes to the business that it was time to make a fresh start with a new name.
He said the name Zane has no special tie; it is a short name that is easy to remember. He did say that he’s a fan of author Zane Grey and the Zane Grey Theatre television show, but the restaurant will not have a western theme.
He hopes that much of what made Win’s still will show through the remodel.
1964 Win’s first opened in Fairhaven by Winnifred Easterly.
“I’ve always been a fan of Win’s since moving here; I loved the burgers,” said Swift. He is also known in the community for other businesses he founded in Bellingham, including Rocket Donuts and Fat Pie Pizza.
Swift said the building originally was an old A&W restaurant on the north side of Bellingham that was moved by truck to its current spot. Winnifred Easterly opened Win’s in 1964. Her son Tom Walstrom and his wife, Mary Lue, operated the business for 26 years, retiring in 2004 and selling it to the Jins.
Swift heard that plans were in the works to sell the building and turn it into something else, possibly a bank. He didn’t want to lose that piece of Fairhaven history, so he decided to purchase it himself in June 2015.
The rejuvenation will include the menu. Customers will see a new style of chili dogs and chili burgers. The hot dog and burger meat will come from Jack Mountain Meats in Burlington.
Once the initial remodel is complete, Swift said he will continue tinkering with other ideas to attract and keep customers. One idea he is exploring is putting a 1964 Ford Falcon replica on a pole, giving the appearance that it is floating on the roof.
“I really hope people fall in love with (Zane Burger),” Swift said.