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The Sandee's revival continues as the Billings institution expands from food trucks to include a brick-and-mortar location. 

After more than a year on the road, the Sandee's food truck will set up shop permanently in a stand-alone building in Billings. 

Sandee's re-launched in spring 2016, serving burgers and fries out of two trucks that crisscrossed the city every day. The food trucks, started by Scot and Jennifer Ireton, were a rebirth of the Sandee's hamburger stand that started in Billings in 1958. 

The restaurant was started by Carm and Shirley Hampton, Jennifer Ireton's parents, opening kitty-corner from Senior High. A few years later the Hamptons opened a second location across the street from West High.

The Hamptons eventually sold the restaurant in 1981, and Sandee's carried on for another few years until it finally closed in 1996. The owners at the time had failed to buy the company outright, so the keys were returned to Shirley Hampton, Scot Ireton said. 

Jennifer Ireton had long dreamed of relaunching her parents' burger shop, so she and Scot bought a food truck last year and took up the mantle. Scot Ireton was surprised by the reception they received. 

"People love Sandee's," he said. 

The move to a permanent location will give Sandee's a home base. The second truck will continue to travel around town and cater special events, Ireton said. 

The lease for the new building has yet to be finalized, so Ireton declined to say where the Sandee's restaurant will be. He expects to have everything finalized by Monday.

It's a one-year lease, which will give the Iretons a chance to make a go in the new location with no long-term commitment. 

"Just to see if it's something that takes off," he said. 

The building they're leasing has no kitchen, so they'll use the truck to prepare all the food and then serve it there in the restaurant. He's hoping to add equipment in the next few months that will allow them to add to the menu.

"We'll be able to do shakes and malts and everything like they did back in the day," he said. 


Business Reporter

Business Reporter for the Billings Gazette.