by: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - As Marvin Flora takes a moment to smile for the camera, the line at Little Lews grows exponentially in under a minute. The popular eatery will soon open the doors of Lews Drive-In Estacada restaurant in the building that formerly housed Scenes & Beans.

The restaurant is not yet open, but hordes of Estacadans are already lining up for Lew’s.

Word spread quickly when Marvin and Debbie Flora brought the Little Lews bus to the Industrial Park near Northwest Technologies in November.

The reasonably priced fast food was a hit.

“I love Estacada. Always have,” Marvin said.

Apparently the feeling was mutual.

Whether parked in the Industrial Park or in the Just-In Video parking lot, Little Lews kept the customers coming.

by: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - The Little Lews bacon cheeseburger is a popular menu item.The business was so popular that the Floras decided to open up a full-blown restaurant in Estacada.

They have secured the space near the Estacada Area Food Bank that used to house Scenes and Beans.

Once open, Lew’s Drive-In Estacada will have a 1960s feel complete with retro booths and a juke box.

Marvin discussed plans to play television shows from the 1950s and 60s on a big screen T.V. and hopes of hosting frequent car shows.

“We want to make it as bright and as fun as possible,” he said.

They hope to open the restaurant this summer.

Meanwhile, hungry Estacadans may still get their food fix from the Little Lews bus in the Harvest Market’s parking lot behind the restaurant space.

by: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - See?Marvin has a hard time listing the most popular menu items as there are so many.

Biscuits and gravy, the bacon cheeseburger, Philly steak, chili dogs and breakfast burritos are all crowd-pleasers.

The Floras both have a lot of experience in food-related careers.

Debbie worked in fast food for many years. Marvin has owned a deli and worked for DREYER’S Ice Cream running a company parlor and helping to open facilities.

When there was an opportunity to buy Lew’s Drive-In in Milwaukie three years ago, the Floras jumped at the chance.

The Floras have lived in the Estacada area for about a decade.

They had been living in Tracy, Calif., when a doctor suggested they move to somewhere either extremely arid or moist after their children suffered from severe asthma-related issues.

They found Estacada and fell in love.

Not only did they have a breathtaking view of Mount Hood from their Springwater Road home, but the community welcomed them with open arms.

“Estacada is where we don’t learn hospitality, we live hospitality,” Marvin said, adding he thought that this sentiment should be the town’s motto.

Listing off numerous ways in which people have shown kindness to the Floras and one another, Marvin said that the best part of the effort to open Lew’s Drive-In Estacada has been the community.

“This restaurant is going to be for the community, by the community,” he said. “That’s our motto.”

Lew’s can be reached at 503-630-2323.

For more information, find Lew’s Drive-In Estacada on Facebook, or follow Lew’s Drive-In on Twitter.

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