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Bert’s Café keeps its namesake’s mom and pop charm

By Valerie Phillips - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Feb 28, 2024
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Cook-manager Samantha Chadwick, left, with Brittnee Roskelley, the fourth generation of the Olsen family to run Bert’s Café in Brigham City.
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Bert (Albert LeRoy Olsen III) and wife Kathy Olsen were the third generation to run Bert’s Café in Brigham City. He passed away in March 2023.
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An early photo of Bert’s Café, founded by Albert LeRoy Olsen in 1929.
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The Johnson hash browns, named for a long-ago regular customer, are topped with melted cheddar.
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The June burger, named for its creator, June Olsen, is stuffed with Thousand Island dressing.
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Huevos rancheros is becoming a popular special at Bert’s Café in Brigham City.
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Albert LeRoy Olsen III (called Bert) stands behind some of his longtime customers. Bert passed away in March 2023.

Bert’s Café is a Brigham City landmark, founded in 1929 by Albert LeRoy Olsen and handed down to his son and grandson. Last year, Albert LeRoy Olsen III — known as Bert — passed away. Bert’s step-daughter, Brittnee Roskelley, plans to keep the restaurant in the family at least until its 100th anniversary.

“I want to keep our mom and pop charm,” said Roskelley, who has worked at the restaurant for almost 21 years. “Why try to change something good, when it’s been so successful for so many years?”

The restaurant has a retro vibe, with black-and-white checked flooring and tables embossed with local business ads.

“My dad and mom would remodel about every five years,” she said. “Before the black-and-white floor, it was like bowling alley carpet, and it was not fun cleaning up the spills at the end of the day.”

Breakfast and burgers are the café’s strong suits.

“We are known for good home cooking — our hot burgers and homemade soups,” Roskelley said. “Our fries are fresh-cut Idaho potatoes.”

The burgers, according to the menu, are a blend of ground chuck, ribeye and sirloin. “We get our meat three days a week and form (it) into patties fresh every day,” Roskelley said.

The restaurant currently is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., and you can order breakfast until closing, or an early morning burger.

You won’t find the June Burger anywhere else. Created by Brittnee’s grandmother, June Olsen, it’s stuffed with Thousand Island dressing, onion and cheddar, and topped with Swiss cheese.

“It’s an explosion of flavor in your mouth,” Roskelley said.

The Johnson hash browns are a signature breakfast item named after a long-ago regular customer. He always ordered two eggs scrambled into hash browns with ham and onions, and topped with cheddar.

Eggs Britt is named after Roskelley, who describes it as, “A souped-up eggs Benedict” that’s been on the menu about 12 years. The poached eggs are set on an English muffin, with bacon, tomato, spinach and provolone, and topped with Hollandaise sauce — “And we have excellent Hollandaise sauce,” she added.

Bert’s is also known for serving honey-cured Daily’s bacon, supplied by U.S. Foods. “We’ve had it for as long as I can remember,” Roskelley said.

The first Albert LeRoy Olsen opened a small burger counter on Main Street in 1929, called Bert’s Turn Inn Car Service because drivers could pull up and order from their cars. Bathrooms for the café and the Tahoe Lounge next door were located outside, Roskelley said. When the Tahoe Lounge closed, Bert’s took over that space, expanded the dining area, and added indoor bathrooms.

Two more generations named Albert LeRoy Olsen (a son, Albert LeRoy Olsen II, was called LeRoy, and grandson Albert LeRoy Olsen III was called Bert) ran the restaurant, until last March when Bert lost his battle with stage 4 throat cancer. Bert’s son, Albert LeRoy Olsen IV, prefers his career in the tech industry to running the restaurant, Roskelley said.

Her mother, Kathy Olsen, met Bert around 1994. The two married in 2000, “and she ran the restaurant with him until last March,” said Roskelley. “I got a lot of my work ethic and knowledge from both of them,”

Kathy Olsen was likely the one who brought Navajo tacos to the menu, served on the restaurant’s house-made scones.

With Bert’s passing, Roskelley talked her mother into retiring. “They both worked so hard. I wanted her to have time to travel and enjoy herself.”

The kids’ meals are called the Pipsqueak Menu because, “My dad was a huge ‘SpongeBob’ fan, and we named it for the Pipsqueak Patty at the Krusty Krab,” she said. Seniors can also order from the Pipsqueak menu, as the dishes are smaller portions.

Years ago, Bert’s was also open for dinner. But when dinner business dwindled, the restaurant cut back to serving just breakfast and lunch. Roskelley said she’s thinking of expanding the hours from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the future.

Samantha Chadwick and Paul Vigil are cook-managers. Vigil was at Bert’s Café for 23 years before going to Sydney’s in Mantua. He came back when Sydney’s moved to Preston earlier this year.

Vigil has introduced some new specials, such as huevos rancheros.

“We try to do a few different specials every week to give the regulars something new to try,” Roskelley said. “We have four generations of families that are still coming in here, and their stories are amazing.”

But she also likes interacting with new customers. “Anyone who comes in, we make them feel like they belong here. And here’s a huge shoutout to our customers who have become family and continue to support us.”


Bert’s Café

Location: 89 S. Main St., Brigham City

Contact: 435-734-9544

Hours: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily (in summer, hours may expand to 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Prices: $8-$15


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