Popular, decades-old Eveleth drive-in burns to the ground

There's some bad news for fans of Eveleth's popular Wee-Z's K&B Drive-In, which burned down on Sunday.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

There's some bad news for fans of Eveleth's popular Wee-Z's K&B Drive-In, which burned down on Sunday.

Several fire departments, including those in Eveleth, Fayal, Gilbert and Central Lakes, were called to the scene at 7 a.m. Sunday, with the Eveleth Fire Department posting on Facebook that "we did the best we could, but the building was a total loss."

The eatery off Highway 53 – known for its burgers, fries, root beer, pasties and barbecue – underwent a facelift last year that saw its name changed to "Smokey's BBQ and Cafe."

It didn't last long, with the Duluth News Tribune reporting it was taken over by current owner Patrick Ziegler in May and renamed Wee-Z's K&B.

The eatery first opened as the "R&J Drive-in" in 1956 under the stewardship of Ron and Jule Erjavec, who ran the place for 30 years before selling it, according to the Mesabi Daily News.

Erjavec was among those devastated by the fire, and joined the many former diners reminiscing on Sunday.

The 82-year-old told KBJR that he shook his head as he was being told about the fire, saying: "I feel bad. I drive by every day and you can't see something like this happen. It's terrible."

"We used to sell hamburger for 19 cents and a root beer for 5 cents," he added. "I picked that piece of property because I figured it was a well location and a good spot."

Next Up

Mohamed Ibrahim

Missed PAT seals Gophers' fate against Maryland

Mohamed Ibrahim tied a school record with four touchdowns, but the Gophers lost in overtime.

dnr trout stocking helicopter

DNR uses a helicopter to more efficiently stock lakes with trout

In the past, the DNR used airplanes to stock remote lakes with fish, but the survival rate of the fish was only 85%.

steve simon zoom call

Secretary of State explains plans for segregated absentee ballots

Election officials are reminding voters that it's too late to mail in your absentee ballots.

Halloween, trick-or-treating

Osterholm on safe trick-or-treating: 'I would say go ahead with it'

The infectious disease expert's opinion doesn't align with the CDC's guidance.

drop and go ballot plymouth

It's too late to mail your ballot, but you can still vote. Here's how.

Voters can drop off their absentee ballot, vote early in-person or head to the polls on Election Day.

2019-12-11 f1rst Wrestling Hanukka Havok-Darin Kamnetz-154

Dusting itself off after virus blow, F1rst Wrestling returns to the ring this Sunday

Minnesota's premier independent wrestling company was on top of the world before the virus hit.

1024px-McD-McRib

McDonald's is bringing the McRib back in December

It hasn't appeared on menus for eight years.

Apple Valley High School

2 more Twin Cities districts moving to distance learning for grades 6-12

The decision was announced as infection rates in Dakota County rise.

covid-19 testing site sign

Here are the 4 free COVID-19 testing sites in MN for the week of Nov. 2

People don't need to have symptoms or insurance to get tested for free.

Related

Dari-Ette

For sale: St. Paul '50s drive-in that featured on Guy Fieri show

It's one of the last remaining original drive-ins in the Twin Cities.

Grand Cafe bistro to close after a decade in business

The cafe is known for its warm welcomes and expert comfort food.

BBQ joint popular with lake-goers burns down overnight

It's a blow for visitors to Otter Tail and Battle lakes in Minnesota.

Arrest made by police investigating Red Wing's first homicide in almost a decade

A suspect was taken into custody across the river in Wisconsin.

6-year-old girl drowns at popular MN swimming pond

A day at the beach turned tragic in Lake Elmo.

Swamp fire west of the Twin Cities burns 50 acres of land

The fire closed Highway 12 for four hours overnight.

The vegan restaurant that closed because it was so popular is now open again

J. Selby's initially opened expecting 250-300 customers a day. They got 700-800.