By Kathy Drummond
Hought’s 24 Flavors, on the corner of 602 Adams Avenue, has been a La Grande landmark since Clair and Helen Hought first opened their restaurant and soda fountain in 1951.
The Houghts kept their popular business open for the next 34 years, but then closed it in 1984. Twenty years later, in 2004, Carla Sorweide purchased the business and reopened it on Valentine’s Day of 2005.
The old-fashioned charm is evident when you enter the warm and friendly restaurant and soda fountain. Sorweide purposely retained the look and feel of the 1950s restaurant with the original soda fountain with eight stools, table and chairs and a juke box in the corner. She also has a display of pop bottles, candy boxes and other mementos from when the Houghts owned it.
The biggest draw of Hought’s 24 Flavors is the aroma of homemade hamburgers and hot dogs sizzling on the open grill. The scent of deep-fried curly fries might get grab your attention as well, and if you have a weakness for ice cream, you have came to the right place.
Sorweide said, “This is not a fast-food restaurant. It is fresh. It is never frozen. We get it fresh from Albertson’s in Pendleton, or Costco– sometimes Safeway.”
The best-selling hamburger is the Hought’s Burger with special seasoning. In fact, Sorweide received two awards from the Union County Chamber of Commerce in 2012 for “Best Burger” and “Best Dessert.”
Desserts come in 30 flavors of ice cream made by Cascade Glacier of Eugene, Ore. When asked what her bestselling ice cream is, Sorweide said, “It depends. If you are a berry fan, it is Huckleberry. If you are a chocolate fan, it is Chocolate Peanut Butter. Most people like Licorice. That is an old-time favorite. We get a lot of new ones, different ones like Beachcomber. It tastes like fruit loops and has pop rocks in it.” Shakes and sundaes are available in all the flavors as well.
Ice cream is served with your choice of a waffle cone, a sugar cones or a cake cone. Occasionally they make their own waffle cones that they offer for an additional 25 cents.
Sorweide puts in long hours to keep her business running, along with the help of five employees. Starting June 3, Hought’s 24 Flavors is open 7 days a week from 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Sorwiede is very community-minded and supports EOU and La Grande High School. EOU students receive a 10 percent discount if they pay with cash.
If you are tired of bland, predictable fast-food and are hungry for freshly made hamburgers and French fries, or crave a large selection of ice cream, give Hought’s 24 Flavors a try. You won’t regret it!