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Coronavirus pandemic? Not a problem for drive-in diners. Fat Boy in Brunswick will open this season with new owner

A drive-in has social distancing built right in and the new owner says it's just what Mainers need to lift their spirits

BRUNSWICK, Maine — If there is one thing COVID-19 won't change is a spring tradition in Brunswick.

Fat Boy, THE place to get a burger, BLT, fries and a shake is opening for the season and for the first time in decades under new ownership.

"I'm pumped and the crew and staff are excited to come in, they're thrilled, my kids are the moon," said new owner Mike Jerome.

Jerome lives in Brunswick and owns two businesses, Portland Pie Co. and Bolos Kitchen Cantina and Candlepin. But he says he's had his eye on Fat Boy for a while.

"It's such an iconic place in Brunswick woven into the tapestry. It's been for 65 years," Jerome said.

Ken and Jeanne Burton have run the drive-in for 36 years. It's where they first met. Jeanne was 16 years old at the time.

And it's always been a family affair. Ken and Jeanne took the restaurant over from his father and their two children and five grandchildren have also worked there.

RELATED: Owners of iconic drive-in Fat Boy in Brunswick talk about why they're selling

But as they told NEWSCENTER Maine two years when they put the restaurant on the market, they're grateful for the memories and the loyal customers but they're ready to retire.

"I'm hoping it continues the way it is and that I can drive in myself and sit in the car and get my food," Ken Burton had said.

It looks like the Burton's will get their wish, even during a pandemic.

Jerome says while it may not seem like the best time to buy a restaurant it's the perfect time to buy a drive-in diner.  

RELATED: Fat Boy Drive-In plans to open soon under new management

"You're able to go there with your family, get a fresh cooked meal delivered right to your car at a safe distance."

When Fat Boy opens some things will a look a little different-- servers and car hops will be wearing gloves and masks temporarily and credit cards will now be accepted.

But Jerome said the one thing that won't change is the good food Mainers have come to know and love.

"Being able to get in a car and go back there to get a burger, to get a BLT, to get a frappe with your family again. I think that's something everyone needs."

Jerome knows he has big shoes to fill. He said it's stressful and exciting to be carrying on the Fat Boy legacy. 

But he's hoping to get started and open the doors to another season Thursday, April 30.

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