Open for business
Fobaire opens drive-thru
LUSK - For three years Mark Fobaire has been the mystery man in Lusk. He first came to community attention with the dismantling of the former B-Q Corral drive up canopy. Then, over the next three years people watched as the property underwent massive changes. Finally, the morning of August 16 Fobaire’s slid open his drive thru window for the first order at 6:05 a.m. Breakfast was served. Then, starting at 10 a.m. came lunch.
Customers lined up all morning and through lunch time anxious to try the newest food addition to Lusk. As a one-man-band Fobaire does it all, takes the order, cooks the food and gives back change, all with a speedy efficiency that makes a customer dizzy to watch.
Three years ago when Fobaire bought the old B-Q Corral and campground property he had a vision to meet a need in Lusk. Having been in food service for over thirty years, Fobaire had a pretty good idea of not only what would work well in Lusk, but also a sense of adventure and fun. He had owned a successful Bed and Breakfast in the black hills, worked in restaurants from Los Angeles to the Twin Cities from dives to fine dining. Recently having consulted for the Shoshone Rose casino in Fort Washakie, Fobaire was looking to take on a project that was a combination of challenge and nostalgia.
Raised in the Twin Cities area, Fobaire has vivid childhood memories of eating at a diner known as Porkys This iconic drive-in and counter diner played prominently in his food experiences, one he wanted to recreate for kids and families today.
In addition to cooking and stained glass, Fobaire is also a jack-of-all trades and able to do most of the renovation work himself from demolition to roofing to tiling.
That came in handy considering both buildings on the property were extensive renovation projects requiring months of clean up and demo before he could even begin on the new look. With a vision in mind he set to work.
As the community watched the property went from dated, a little run down and an eye sore to cleaned up, perked up and attractive. The restaurant itself underwent a complete overhaul resulting in an attractive six-seat counter in blue and white. The signage and exterior of the building reflect a classy vintage look with deep burgundy and white details. The secondary building is, for now, where Fobaire resides but he has plans to complete the “coffee shop” side of his sign’s claims in the future with potential for fresh roasting coffee and providing baked goods or as he puts it, “a little something sweet to go with a great cup of coffee.”
At the heart of Fobaire’s Diner is the idea that a food experience shouldn’t drain a bank account and should be just that, an experience that will bring bonding and fond memories to young and old. While the menu is limited to three types of breakfast sandwiches, a few beverages, two burger combos, salad and chili, make no mistake, the quality of all items are high. Kid’s meals include whole-muscle chicken tenders, mac and cheese and all-beef corndog options. The toys are chintzy either. Nothing but the best beef, potatoes and fresh items for Fobaire’s customers. At it’s heart, Lusk is a town that appreciates well-done simplicity, and Fobaire’s provides that in spades.
Opening at 6 a.m. is a rarity in today’s food scene and many locals are grateful for someplace to get a hearty breakfast and good cup of coffee to-go on their way to work. Staying open until 4 p.m. allows those who want a late lunch, or even to pick up something for dinner on their way home to treat the family to an early burger. One of the best options is simply the fact that customers don’t need to exit their vehicle to pick up a meal on the go. This will come in especially handy during the coldest winter days. He also plans to install more outdoor seating for nicer days and family convenient dining.
Fobaire’s work ethic and experience in food service shine through in everything from the quality of the meals to the new counters. His modern point of sale program complete with ordering app capability and inventory tracking will allow him to remain efficient and hopefully keep operating costs low. At this time he isn’t sure when he will add more staff but for now is enjoying getting to know the community as they come through his drive up. A chatty and upbeat personality along with loads of energy, Fobaire comes across as the perfect fit for Lusk and he is definitely all-in and invested in being part of a community.