HOMETOWN PROUD: Family owned restaurant for 80 years dishes out - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

HOMETOWN PROUD: Family owned restaurant for 80 years dishes out famous prime rib

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ZILLAH, WA. -- As soon as you walk into the Squeeze Inn in downtown Zillah, the first thing you see is a piece of history. 

"This counter was where my grandma put in the restaurant," Rod Bainter said. "It had nine stools, of course we expanded it, it was only 8-feet wide then that's why it was called the Squeeze Inn."

In fact, so much has happened inside these walls since the family business was opened in the 30's by Rod's grandmother that they have history hanging all over the walls. When's the last time you had a t-bone streak for 2 dollars?

"My dad put in one of the first liquor bars in the county and that was in 1952," Rod said. "My grandma was was a religious person and she didn't like that but he did it anyway and it was a huge success."

Since the 70's they've been known for one thing.

"It just got out there that we have the best prime rib and it's been that way since the 70's," Rod told us. 

But at one time, the Squeeze Inn almost went away. During the recession, in 2006, Rod put the restaurant up for sale.

"Real tough, real tough," he said. "It was a hard decision. But I'm glad it didn't work you know? So baby steps. We're taking it a little bit at a time. But it's coming back."

Now the restaurant has  a bright future with more family who plan on keeping the legacy going. 

"I plan on carrying it on as long as I possibly can," Rod's daughter Beth Husted said. "I also have two kids which my daughter, she is 15, I make her come work as well. I started here at 14, I think my kids should do the same. So if everything goes according to plan, it should be in the family for a very long time."

Because for the Baitners, the Squeeze Inn means everything. 

"It's just my life," Rod said. "It's just what I've been doing forever. It's awesome."
 

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