Review: Gordy’s Hi-Hat Drive-In – Cloquet, Minnesota
Review: Gordy’s Hi-Hat Drive-In – Cloquet, Minnesota

Gordy's Hi Hat

I recall passing through Cloquet with the dogs on the way to a Canadian island. We never stopped to eat there because we had already stopped at Tobie's in Hinckley, Minnesota, to stock up on treats for island time.  

We decided to do some pet-friendly day-tripping, and Gordy's was our first drive for the 2021 season. 


Gordy's checkered floor and red stools have beckoned travelers with battered fish and hand-pattied burgers laden with onions since 1960. Diners can order sides such as cheese curds and homemade onion rings, big malts, and lighter fare like the strawberry salad with house poppy seed dressing. 

As Seen on TV 

You'll also see menu items featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, milkshakes, Double Cheeseburgers, Coney Dogs and Chili. The restaurant has a tagline, too: "You just gotta get to Gordy's!" (Open daily between 10:00 AM and 8:00 PM. This is Minnesota, so pay attention to the seasonal aspects, opening in springtime and closing before winter begins.) 

Gordy's remains a family affair. Founded by Gordy and Marilyn Lundquist, the business is currently owned by their son, Dan Lundquist. As you roll in, notice the Warming House year-round coffee and ice cream shop sharing the parking lot with the Drive-In. This building is where Gordy and Marilyn used to live. 

Dog Play Area 

There is a fenced area for dogs to romp at the edge of the parking lot, near the entrance. You'll see it when you're in the double lanes to speed up ordering. We did not use the fenced area for the dogs but walked our dogs along the grassy edge of the entryway. (We did use the trash cans in the dog play area for our poop bags.) 


Once we rolled into line (it was a Wednesday morning, so not jam-packed), we were promptly directed to a spot near the iconic road sign. A carhop appeared quickly with a pad of paper and jotted down our order. We gabbed with some of the other patrons, and our food arrived quickly. Rather than sit on the hot parking lot, we took our meals to a local park along the St Louis River under the watchful eye of a fiberglass Voyaguer statue. 

What We Ordered

Onion Rings $4.99
Cheese Curds $4.99
Cole Slaw $1.29
Milk Shake $4.49
Double cheeseburger (for the dogs) $5.99
Cheeseburger $4.69
Roasted Chicken Burger $5.99

The Meals

The food was adequate, not spectacular, and not disappointing. 

The onion rings had a delicate coating and were not overly greasy - no hints of any other flavors from the deep fryer, which was a pleasant surprise. 

Cheese curds are definitely a "get 'em while they're hot" menu item. The first few reminded us of the piping hot versions at local fairs, then they cooled, and even the dogs were questioning our choices. (The dogs did eat them, but more reluctantly than if they had been warmer.) 

Cole Slaw was a wee serving and had a bit more dressing than we prefer, but the taste was okay. 

The milkshake was standard fare, and I would anticipate something similar at almost any drive-in or drive-through line. We did no try the blackberry shake, and perhaps that would have been more delightful. 

A double cheeseburger was ordered for the dogs, so no onions. It looked good, and the dogs enjoyed sharing it. They liked this much better than the cheese curds.

The regular cheeseburger came with all the fixings and a wedge of dill pickle too. The buttery fried onions are an excellent addition to the burger. 

The roasted chicken burger was confusing. Somehow when reading "burger," I thought it would be that size or perhaps ground chicken. It came on a bun and was a big hunk of chicken breast. Yes, that is healthy as proclaimed on the menu, and I was utterly unable to eat it in the bun. I deconstructed it into the takeaway box and ate it with my fingers. It was good enough, but I wouldn't order it again. 

This day trip was a fun diversion, and I feel like we have completed a meal at a Minnesota icon.