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Planners approve Zesto proposal

The Mitchell Planning and Zoning Commission has approved a plan to move a local drive-in restaurant that's been at its current site for 63 years.

In the plan, approved by the commission during a noon meeting Monday at City Hall, Zesto, will relocate from its current location at 422 S. Sanborn Boulevard to another building in the 200 block of West First Avenue.

In an interview after Monday's meeting, Zesto owner Roxie Ackman said she hopes to finish the move before next summer.

"I'm hoping to get the work done over the winter," she said.

The condition of the current Zesto building -- which Ackman said is "deteriorating" -- and because Ackman doesn't own the land at the drive-in's current location but does own the land at the new location, factored into the decision to move, she said.

The fate of the current Zesto building remains undetermined, as Ackman is still discussing the matter with the current landowner.

According to a sketch included in the commission's agenda, Zesto would relocate to a building located in the 200 block of West First Avenue behind two other businesses, The Hair Affair and Tropitana, also owned by Ackman.

"I have a brand new building sitting there," she said. "I might as well use it."

The sketch shows plans for indoor and outdoor seating areas, indoor counter space with additional seating, and a walk-up window with a separate window to pick up orders.

Ackman, who has owned Zesto for 16 years, is worried the business could lose sentimental value as a result of the move, as the drive-in has been at its current location for 63 years.

"I'm definitely worried about that," she said. "I just hope we're going to make new memories."

Adding indoor seating, which is unavailable at the current Zesto, will be the biggest change to the business as a result of the move.

The new location will be directly east of the Garden of Eden, at 214 W. First Ave., which was purchased by the city last year along with two other nearby properties. Those properties were purchased with the intention of demolishing the existing structures to clear space to build a new city hall.

Ackman is the owner of the one privately owned parcel on the north side of First Avenue between the James Valley Community Center and the old Longhorn Bar property. Ackman believes Zesto's new location will complement the changes the city has planned for the area, including the construction of a new city hall and the demolition of several run-down properties.

"I think it will be bigger and better, and good for everybody," she said.