Popular Hermitage drive-in ‘slammed’ with customers after reopening

The Corral in Hermitage closed after a grease fire in August

Hamburger patties are being flipped again at The Corral in Hermitage.

HERMITAGE, Pa. (WYTV) – Hamburger patties are being flipped again at The Corral in Hermitage.

The owner, David DeForest, said it is now business as usual after a grease fire forced the drive-in restaurant to close last August.

“It’s been wonderful. We’ve been slammed, as the restaurant people call it,” DeForest said.

The shop, which serves up burgers and ice cream, normally operates from St. Patrick’s Day until the fall. This year, the doors did not open until June 22.

DeForest said the fire exposed a lot of issues with the building, so all year, they worked to bring it back up to code.

He said the building was built in 1955, and most of the appliances inside had not been upgraded in a while.

Now, the restaurant has a new grill and roof, along with other upgrades.

DeForest said he isn’t done with the upgrades, however.

“We’ll probably end up spending 25 to 35 percent of our operating costs to replace all the mechanicals,” he said.

While most of the equipment inside is now new, one original item remains in place — the cooler.  DeForest said that was built in Erie, Pennsylvania — around the time that the building housing The Corral was built.

In the first four days since reopening, DeForest estimates that his staff served 1,400 people.