BY SABRINA LEE
WWII led the Pingree’s to close the restaurant as their two oldest boys went to war.
What began as a fruit stand in front of Verdi and Beatrice Pingree’s home and farm, on the east side of Highway 91, morphed into a small bowery restaurant with gas pumps. They called it “Ma’s Place,” and it was Roy’s first restaurant. With the claim of having the “best chicken in the state,” the business flourished. Initially, Beatrice “Ma” Pingree did all the cooking. Her sons helped by peeling potatoes, and her daughters helped by wearing pants and pumping gas for customers. As their family grew, their sons and daughters became more involved.
The establishment of Hill Field created an economic boom for the city of Roy. Verdi and his boys built a 24-unit motel in addition to the restaurant. When the United States entered World War II, the two oldest boys went to war and Ma and Pa closed the restaurant to run the motel.
By the 1950’s, Ma’s Place reopened and was called “Ma’s and Pa’s Restaurant.” They had themed dining rooms and a coffee shop. Their boys joined in much of the cooking while their daughters waitressed. One son, Carl, displayed and sold his oil paintings in the large dining room. Even when Ma retired, she continued to be active at the restaurant by playing piano during the dinner hours for patrons.
Do you remember Ma’s and Pa’s? We would love to see photos of the themed dining rooms!
What popular establishments bring back memories of Roy city past history. Let us know! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your stories, and we might feature them in the magazine.