What’s your favorite milkshake flavor? Chances are, once you sip and sample your way through a few of the 29 hand-crafted options at Clarks Restaurant, you’ll have a new one … or two.
With roots reaching way back to 1923, founded as Ma and Pa’s gas station, tavern and grocery store, the 1950s brought the new Wolfs name before it was purchased by the Clarks – John and Beth – in 1963.
It was then Clarks’ reputation for exceptional hand-made ice cream and burgers was forged, and the same recipes have delighted diners ever since.
Fast forward to 1997 when Rich and Kathy Pacana purchased Clarks – Kathy had worked for John and Beth in the 1970s – and joined by daughter Ranie Creamer, the family continues the legacy for a new generation.
The first step was learning from John Clark how to craft that rich and creamy soft-serve using his grandmother’s recipe, and to this day Clarks continues serving their shakes with the sundae on top, just like John used to.
“I just love watching people enjoying that first sip of milkshake,” Kathy says with a smile.
But diners can’t be sustained by milkshakes alone, no matter how yummy, so they also want to add a deluxe cheeseburger or mushroom burger basket to their order, with its hand-cut fries cooked “the old-fashioned way,” like all the scratch-made home-cooking on the menu.
Burgers are made from lean ground chuck, topped with thick slices of fresh tomato and onion, along with generous servings of tangy pickles and crisp lettuce.
There’s a good reason, after all, that Clarks is regularly named one of the region’s best spots for burgers and milkshakes!
“We have people drive down from the Seattle area and people drive up from Astoria just to eat here,” Kathy says. “It’s a real treasure.”
Prefer something a little lighter? There are hearty soups and sandwiches, and salads crafted from fresh, crisp lettuce and veggies. And if there’s still room after all that goodness, finish with homemade pie, baked by Kathy (the Little Wild Blackberry Pie is a particular favorite!).
“We make our own soups, we make our own clam chowder, we even cook our own turkey breast to slice for our sandwiches,” Kathy says. “That’s what keeps people coming back – the food.”
The restaurant’s long and storied past is shared throughout the cozy, family-friendly setting, dotted with old photographs, antique tools and other local memorabilia. While seating has been reduced according to the new COVID protocols, you can still pull up a chair and tuck into one of Washington’s best burger baskets either inside the restaurant or outside on any of the multiple tables with umbrellas.
And if you’d prefer to pick-up your order from the drive-through window then enjoy it at home or on a picnic, you can pre-order at 360-538-1487!
“It’s a place to get away, especially during the pandemic. We even had family members arrange to meet for a burger – enjoyed in their own cars – but they could see each other, chat and enjoy this shared experience.”
Visit Clarks from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and until 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at 731 US Hwy 101 in Artic, WA. They are located 5 miles south of Aberdeen and 17 miles north of Raymond. You’ll also find them online at clarksrestaurant.com.