OGDEN — The ice cream bulges above the rim of your shake cup, unmistakable proof that the sign out front means what it says.

Jake’s Over the Top restaurant, an Ogden east bench mainstay since 1993, serves its customers a dizzying assortment of shakes and ice cream treats, complemented by an array of flavored drinks and slushes.

Of course, it’s not all desserts and sweets.

The half-pound Big Jake burger is a headline item that can present a diner with a win-win choice: Do you devour the burger or savor the shake first?

Owner and manager Lisa King said the cozy little eatery — on the outskirts of Weber State University at 1249 Country Hills Drive — has augmented its menu with more products over the years but has stayed true to the successful core.

“We haven’t deviated from the thick ice cream shakes, the gigantic shakes,” King said.

Jake's Over The Top 04

A seasonal pumpkin shake at Jake's Over the Top in Ogden.

Traditional shake flavors such as chocolate, vanilla and strawberry are followed by numerous others, including mocha, marshmallow, cherry, pineapple, chocolate mint, caramel, root beer freeze, peanut butter, fresh banana, peach and raspberry.

Ice cream products represent 60 percent of the restaurant’s volume, King said, adding that Jake’s serves locally produced fruits in season.

No-dairy products also have been added, she said.

The sandwich menu, meanwhile, offers grilled chicken and chicken filet sandwiches, a guacamole bacon burger and a hickory bacon barbecue burger.

“We don’t use cheap ingredients, and we use quality ground beef for our burgers,” King said. “We have tried to keep the finest ingredients — even though it’s fast food it’s really nice-type fast food.”

Jake’s is also proud of its fries and chicken tenders, she added — “I challenge anybody to do fries better than us.”

When King, her husband, Ned, and their family opened Jake’s 26 years ago, they took a chance by using a just-closed taco restaurant building to establish their ice cream concept.

Ned sold his 1970 Chevrolet Camaro so they could buy their first ice cream machine.

“And then our very first customer ordered bean burritos,” she said. “I almost burst into tears — ‘We’re never going to survive.’”

But since then it has been a fun ride, King said. All their kids have worked there, and she said the restaurant has been lucky to have great employees along the way.

“The staff makes your business grow and treats your customers well,” she said. “It hinges on them.”

But who is Jake?

“Jake is my oldest son,” King said. “He was just about five at the time.”

They wanted to use “Over the Top” as the name but it needed something else, they thought.

“He’s always liked it,” she said of Jake’s attitude about the name. “He’s always teased us that he should get royalties for us using his name. He’s still waiting on those royalties.”

You can reach reporter Mark Shenefelt at mshenefelt@standard.net or 801 625-4224. Follow him on Twitter at @mshenefelt.

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