Durant’s Wright’s Drive-In has stood as several generations grow up and old in Durant.
It’s been owned by several people through the years but the current family who owns it, plans to keep it.
Courtney Burnett bought the restaurant from her dad, Durant businessman Jess Holder, a little over a year and a half ago. Holder bought Wright’s in 1979, according to his daughter.
She had never had food service experience but wanted it to stay in her family as her dad was retiring.
Burnett said, “They had it over 35 years. I had never, ever helped him out here. They wanted to retire and I had to keep it in the family. I had been in human resources for years. My husband James is in construction and he takes are of everything working here.”
She said food service is much different than what she had done and it’s a work in progress.
Burnett has everything she needs to keep Wright’s successful for years to come.
Wright’s has a good team who help her when she needs it. She helps them where she can, too.
She said, “I wasn’t even born when my dad got Wright’s. It’s in my heart. This has been a part of my family and everyone’s family for years.”
The event is drawing vendors to sell their services or wares.
Chris Lomoe of Durant was running a vendor booth for locally owned US Cellular.
Lomoe said, “There’s some really cool rides out here today. I wish I had an old car.
Lynn Smith, a longtime businessman in Durant had the idea for the car show at Wright’s
Smith said, “We got together talking and said, ‘this would be a great place for this.’ I went to school across the street. I own an air conditioner company on South Ninth. South Ninth is my pride and joy. We used to do the drag here in our old cars. I thought, ‘we are wasting a great thing.”’
Word of mouth has made the car show grow in just one month.
Smith said, “Last time we had 25 cars, now we have over 35. This is only our second one and it’s a huge success.”
Longtime Wright’s waitress Cathy Mayhue said about her boss, “She walked in blind. Everybody pitched in and helped her. Just look at how business has done. She has moved Wright’s forward. We never expected all the attention.”
A state TV show shot a story on Wright’s.
The local TV stations have shined the light on the vintage drive In.
All this attention has business booming and plenty of tips for the waitresses.
Mayhue said, “Business has picked up. In turn, that makes our tips increase. She’s a great boss, and is compassionate but has that line where you don’t try to cross it. She helps every one of us. She’s get up there and work with us too. She’ll wash dishes or whatever she needs to do. She will get her hands dirty.”
Melissa Black is one of the cooks most customers never get to see.
She said about Burnett, “I love Courtney. She’s down to earth and the best boss you could ask for.”
The first Thursday of the month, lots of fun, food and vintage cars at Durant Wright’s Drive In at the vintage car show.
Contact Dan Pennington at (580) 634-2162 or email@example.com