PULLMAN, Wash. — After a 6 month hiatus, the new owners of Cougar Country Drive In are firing up the grill again.
The iconic Pullman restaurant finally has a new owner.
Zoe Coffeehouse & Pub announced the purchase on their Facebook page Monday afternoon.
From our family to yours! We are happy and proud to announce that, after many long months of no Bacon Burgers, Cub Burgers, crinkle fries, and that awesome fry sauce, Cougar Country Drive In is returning--bigger and better than ever! It will take us a few weeks to get it up and running, but when we do, we invite you all to come and experience that great Cougar Country tradition!
Mike Wagoner and his wife knew they couldn't let the lights go out forever, and decided to save the Pullman favorite.
"Who doesn't love Cougar Country? Everybody loves Cougar Country, it's part of the Pullman experience, when you come to WSU, you think Cougar Country," said Terry Wagoner.
You may know the Wagoner family, Mike is a successful business owner in the Palouse for more than four decades. He said his recipe for success is treating his staff and customers like family, it's what he'll carry over to the new restaurant.
"I am so happy every time one them walks through my door, it's just like, I'm so happy you're here and I feel the same way here at Cougar Country," Mike Wagoner said.
As a little girl, Rachel Isitt remembers waiting in the drive-thru, she's proud of her parents because she know's they'll carry on the legacy customers expect.
"They've always been entrepreneurs, they've always been super hardworking. The team work they show together is impressive and it's always been like that," Isitt said.
You may notice small changes over time, but the menu will be just as many of you have come to love.
"It's worked all these years, people love the menu, they come, they know what they want. A lot of them don't even look at the board, they already know what they're going to order," said Terry Wagoner.
The family said the response from the community has been overwhelming.
"I even put up a sign this morning that said 'We Love You Pullman,' just to let them know how much we love them and the support we're getting," Mike said.
They have a lot of work to do, but they hope to open by the first home football game.
The owner of Cougar Country announced on Feb. 12 that the restaurant would be closed until further notice due to financial issues, including employees not receiving paychecks, but that she had been approved for financing.
The post also said the hiring of a new manager and a lack of communication since her retirement five years ago led to the issues.
The new owner tells KREM 2, as a part of the purchase all former employees will receive payment through proceeds from the sale from the Washington State Department of Labor Industries.