This is the story of a family’s history in creating Sioux City’s first fast food drive thru restaurant.

In July, 1955 the Tastee Inn & Out was born.  Located at 2610 Gordon Drive in the neighborhood called Greenville, it was built long before any national fast food chains thought about moving to Sioux City.

Vincent and Marie Calligan were the entrepreneurs that built the Tastee Inn & Out in Sioux City.  While it was not their first business endeavor as a couple, they dived into the Tastee with all the zest and zeal any 2 people could muster.

Vincent (Vince) was born in West Bend, Iowa and was 3rd generation Irish.   Marie (Osipowicz) Calligan was 1st generation Polish and she was born in Sioux City. Marie loved to cook and as a youngster she worked in lodges moving food between tables and kitchens in order to learn everything she could about preparing food. Vince & Marie met in Sioux City at a local nightclub where Marie worked and Vince was a customer. They later married in 1940 and ran a tavern (bar) in Greenville and operated that business for over a decade before they decided to try their hand at something else. Marie was tired of cleaning up messes (which was par for the course for bar business) and tired of seeing Vince having to execute his skills as a bouncer (even though this duty was a natural skill for a large Irish man).

After opening the original and still existing Tastee on Gordon Drive, they opened a second Tastee located in the west part of Sioux City at 1902 Court Street in 1957.

Vince & Marie had three daughters, and throughout the 1950’s they seldom saw their parents at home. Their middle daughter, Jean, particularly wanted to spend more time with her mother and father, so in order to get to know them, beginning at the age of seven, Jean started working at the Tastee.  The restaurant became her classroom for math, human resources, marketing, and equipment maintenance and product procurement. With this early education, upon the passing of Vince in 1972, Jean was well-prepared to take over the management and ownership of the Tastee.  Jean operated the Tastee with her mother until Marie’s passing in 2009, and by herself until Jean sadly passed away on January 6, 2021, due to complications from COVID and Pulmonary Sarcoidosis.  Upon Jean’s passing, her only daughter, Joye Levy (who also worked at the Tastee as a kid) and her husband Scott have taken over the operations of the Tastee, ensuring the continued legacy of the family’s iconic restaurant.

The Tastee’s success is dependent on the continued insistence on using quality ingredients in making our unique food.

Every day, hundreds of pounds of quality fresh (not frozen) ground beef are purchased and cooked with a special Tastee sauce blended to make the famous Tastee sandwich.  Every day, fresh onions, in 50 pound bags, are pedaled, blanched and breaded to make the fresh scrumptious onion chips. Seasonings are mixed precisely and whipped together in order to create the one-of-a-kind yummy creamy onion chip dip.  And even though the kitchen is busy preparing these iconic items daily for our customers, another special meat sauce is cooked from scratch for our Tastee Pups (hot dogs). Also on the stove, a chili recipe is prepared daily as a tantalizing American soup, rather than the normal thick and pasty chili other competitors make.

Marie, Vince and Jean required nothing less than perfection when it came to preparing these recipes which are behind making the iconic Tastee food, and Joye & Scott are committed to following their lead. Cheap ingredient substitutions are never allowed in making these recipes. To this day, the Tastee Inn & Out has never become a warming house for frozen food.

The Tastee Inn & Out on Gordon Drive is still operating due to our faithful customers and the caring work provided by the amazingly dedicated staff. On behalf of the entire Calligan family, we want to thank all of the customers and employees for Tastee’s continued success. It is a privilege to be part of our customers’ and employees’ memories.

The Tastee is tied to many wonderful memories of the Calligan family. It would take a book of encyclopedic size to tell all the stories that have occurred inside and outside the walls of the Tastee.

Beside the food, much love and effort goes into maintaining the original Tastee Inn & Out neon sign located at the corner of the property. People from all over the country, some who have read about us in national publications, others who have moved away from Sioux City and return for a nostalgic visit, also come to take their picture next to the neon sign and next to the Tastee where it all started.  We hope you come visit us soon and take your own photos of our historic, iconic and fulfilling “good food to go!”

-Joye & Scott Levy, January 2021