Idle Isle Cafe

More From Utah

Spectral customers are sometimes frustrated by their inability to order and eat…

The entity of a family member sticks around to encourage.



Idle Isle Cafe is a wonderful restaurant that has three dining areas for their patrons; covering both couple and family dining, and group events, as it takes up two storefront spaces. Stepping into the left storefront side of the restaurant is like stepping back into the early part of the 20th century. Some of the original 1920s and 30s decor is present and still in great shape. The patron gets to sit in vintage, comfortable booths on either side of the aisle in the restaurant, that leads back to the kitchen.

As it is all one establishment, the visitor can walk inside from this original part of the restaurant into the right side storefront where the candy and ice cream shop and soda fountain used to be for so many years. Larger free-standing tables, and a buffet bar take up 1/2 of the space. There is yet another eating area in the second room behind this area with small tables; off the hallway that leads to the bathrooms.

The kitchen is in the very back of both spaces, where they cook their delicious meals and famous biscuits and rolls.

Idle Isle Cafe has been very successful. Since 2004, they have enjoyed having the whole building for their restaurant, making good use of the space for growth; fulfilling the needs of their community.



Idle Isle Cafe opened as the Idle Isle Candy store in 1921, owned by Percy and Verabel Knudson. Their business was a roaring success. They invited Vera’s Brother and wife, David and LaRita Call, to join them in their business endeavors, as David was just the person to expand the candy business. His expertise in candy-making would be a boost to sales.

Percy and Verabel dreamed of having a restaurant, and started on the road to their dream by expanding the menu to include homemade soups and sandwiches. Percy and Verabel found that they really enjoyed the cafe experience. Percy and Verabel worked hard to expand from offering soup and sandwiches, into being a full service restaurant, that they called The Idle Isle Cafe.

Percy and Verabel ran the Idle Isle Cafe in the left storefront, while David and LaRita Call ran the candy and ice cream business in the right storefront. Percy and Verabel continued on throughout the years until they retired in 1974, eventually selling their restaurant business to one of their grandsons, Rich VanDyke.

David Call’s expertise was put to work, and he created over forty candy recipes, which ensured the huge success of Idle Isle Candy Company.They made their candy in the basement of the building for years. They retired in 1984, eventually selling their business to Rich VanDyke.

This is how the Knudson’s grandson, Richard VanDyke wound up owning both the cafe and the candy shop. In 1994, Richard and his wife Shari, sold the restaurant, and focused full time on expanding the candy business. Once again, the restaurant on the left storefront was separately owned by another party. In 2004, Richard and his Wife bought the store building across the street, and expanded their Candy Company, leaving both store fronts for the restaurant owners.

The owners of Idle Isle Cafe made great use of the extra space and have been very successful. Since 2004, they have enjoyed having the whole building for their restaurant, effectively using both storefronts to grow their business; becoming a social venue as well as a restaurant. Tourists, and community members continue to enjoy the Idle Isle Cafe for dining, family events and other special occasions. It is a habit that apparently is hard to break, as past patrons now in spirit form still visit.



Family members who have passed like to visit their living loved ones or the new owners of their business, with good intentions to help or support the living if they can. This can include helping to manage the staff as well.

Past patrons now in spirit form, who loved the drinks, food and treats they ate at their favorite place while still alive, still like to visit and enjoy what they still can, though hampered by not having a body. They can enjoy their memories, watch others enjoy what they enjoyed, take in the aromas, etc.

Phantom consumers who have loved the food and treats they long enjoyed while alive in these two storefronts, like to visit and try to enjoy experiences they had, which can be frustrating because not having a body can get in the way. Getting service is even rougher because the staff can’t see spirit people, and it is hard to stay in a solid form for very long to get service.



Female entity

Thought to be the current owner’s grandmother who died in 1968.

She has appeared in both businesses, dressed in 1950s clothing; a supporting presence who had lived in town all her life.

Her apparition has been seen walking through the restaurant, and the basement candy kitchen when it was still in this building.

Spirit entity; who is critical of the staff

This entity could very well be the female spirit mentioned above, but it is not certain.

When the candy kitchen was still located downstairs in the basement, a kitchen worker was busy making candy when an unseen hand pushed her shoulder, moving her back from her project for a moment.

Perhaps it was a corrective measure to curb the perceived mistake the staff member was making.

It is suspected that other entities who shopped here or ate here visit as well.

Entity of a male Native American

This spirit appears in solid form, near where the soda fountain used to be, and has been seen downstairs as well.

While standing by the front cashier, he appeared as a real person, and asked the waitress for some of the restaurant’s delicious rolls.

When the waitress looked down as she wrote up his order, he disappeared into thin air. The waitress was amazed and looked around for her vanished customer. He couldn’t be found, nor was he seen leaving the building by others.

Disembodied voices have been heard by staff members when the building is empty.

After the doors are locked and everyone goes home:

Objects fall by themselves off shelves, are moved or knocked over. They were all firmly sitting in their assigned places when left by the living; in no danger of falling due to outside vibrations.

Chairs are knocked over as well, or moved as if perhaps someone pulled up a chair to visit with someone. They too were securely under the tables or stacked securely on top of the tables when left by the living.


Yes, Indeed! Though there hasn’t been hard evidence found to support the haunting theory, there have been plenty of eye-witnesses over the years.

Staff members have had many personal experiences over the years, especially with the two seen spirits. The spirit of the Indian also visits other shops along the street, trying to get service. The spirit of the woman also enjoys window-shopping in the other stores nearby.

I couldn’t find any hard evidence of these hauntings posted on-line. Any investigations done here were probably private ones.



24 South Main Street
Brigham City, Utah

Located right on Main Street, in downtown Brigham City’s historic business district.


  • The Ghost Hunter’s Field Guide
    by Rich Newman
    Llewellyn Productions

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Haunts in Utah