Kozy Cafe and Modern Motel

3525 S Echo Rd, Echo Utah

In 1948 Willard and Cora Dillree became the proud owners of Kozy Cafe. The Kozy Cafe flourished in Echo; most of the credit can go to Cora's wonderful cooking.

Willard and Cora taught their sons and daughter about the cafe, but one took the most interest, their son Clinton - most people knew him as 'Fat' Dillree. Fat took much pride in the cafe and spent most of his time there. Unfortunately, Fat died suddenly at an early age.

Today, the Kozy Cafe is known for it's home cooking and its ghosts. Many employees and customers believe that the ghosts of the Dillrees haunt the cafe, keeping a close eye on the place they loved. The Dillree that seems to visit the most is Fat.

Employees state that at night when the cafe is empty you can hear his favorite barstool squeaking as if Fat is sitting and spinning it back and forth. Employees are often shocked by the sound of Fat's voice asking for a refill of his coffee as they are closing for the night.

Employees and customers have both witnessed the sound of Fat's boots stomping their way across the cafe to the jukebox. The jukebox will suddenly turn on, often playing a Johnny Cash song, and the volume will continue to rise.

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5 comment(s) on this page. Add your own comment below.

Anne Daugherty
Aug 15, 2010 4:03pm [ 1 ]

The Kozy is neither haunted nor open anymore. Whomever was haunting it left several years ago. It was not the Dilrees. I knew them.

Maria Robinson
Sep 1, 2011 11:39pm [ 2 ]

I worked at the Kozy cafe as a cook . Fats was a hard worker, he would come in everynight haul the garbage out, cut chicken and clean the restrooms. He was a wonderful man. I have been in Cali for the last 26 years and now have returned to Salt Lake. It saddens me every time I see the Kozy Cafe. Echo, Ut Its been closed for some years. It was a 24 hr cafe. I lived right behind it. I loved Fats. He was a good man. He was a mediator between my best friend and I during a bad time. I wanted to look him up and was afraid to do so, I didnt know that he had passed until now. Thanks. I dont remember Fats ever sitting.

Victor Shanti
Nov 21, 2014 7:29pm [ 3 ]

The TV show "Touched By An Angel" was shooting on location, at the Kozy Cafe. The Modern Motel rooms were used as the dressing rooms and support area rooms. In that episode, as background, I was playing the role of a cowboy truck driver. Behind the counter was who I believed was the real cook for the place, a man of huge girth.

Sometime mid-morning, I was told to leave that location and to report to the set at a motel in Heber, Utah, along US Route 40. To my horror, I couldn't find my set of numerous keys on a ring to drive to the next location. I searched everywhere around the motel room that we had used for costuming and makeup. I, certainly searched, multiple times, illogically as people do when stressed, through my attache case in which I had placed a single white shirt and a single pair of pants for change of costume.

Fortunately, I had used one of those hide-a-key magnets on my car, so, I did have a means to drive to the next location and to drive home. Of course, I didn't have my house key and the, maybe, nine plus other keys to who knows what.

Just before I left the Kozy Cafe, I spoke to the owner to tell him of my missing keys. He said, "If I find them, I'll make sure that you get them."

About a half hour later, I arrived on set in Heber. As I approached the check-in desk, one of the Assistant Directors rushed over distraught saying, "Fat just died. Fat just died. He was talking to Roma Downey. Then he just collapsed. The set medic said he died before he hit the ground."

I said, "I'm not surprised a guy that fat would have died. I thought he was about to collapse into the oatmeal."

"No, not the chef. Fat, Fat Dillree, the skinny guy, the owner!"

"Oh my God! I just spoke to him. He was the last person that I talked to about some missing keys before I left Echo."

Anyway, the filming continued, including the entire shutdown of US 40 in both directions past the motel, so that traffic noise wouldn't wake the sleeping real infant actor and thus destroy a take with him in it.

I went home. I crawled through a window to open a door from inside. I retrieved my attache case. Opening the case, right on top of the white shirt was my keychain with the numerous keys!

Recovering from the shock, the next day, I returned to the Kozy Cafe to tell of my witnessing a miracle. When I told Fat's daughter what I had experienced, she said, "My father was a man of honor. If he said that he would make sure that you got your keys, I have no doubt that he kept his promise."

Some disbelieve that others heard Fat's bootsteps after he died . I believe that I was touched by an angel.

Lora Wisdom Ryan
Jan 26, 2015 7:54pm [ 4 ]

I also worked here in the early 1980's I was Marias best friend . She took me to Echo to get a job here and Fats hired me on the spot. He was a wonderful man and I will never forget him. Echo and the café have dear memories for me. I met my husband while a waitress there and moved away leaving my car in the back with some of my things, He offered to let me leave it there and I said I'll come back soon and get it..he said ,no you won't , you will forget about us and we wont ever see you again. He was right , I never did go back and get that car :( Since then , my husband has passed away and a few others that lived and frequented the place with the jutebox always playing and plenty of laughter..Thank you Fats , you were a wonderful soul :)

Nov 12, 2016 6:59pm [ 5 ]

I drove semi from Ohio to Idaho and spent many nights parked out front. I had many good dinners there and the waitress was cute and friendly too. I have been there when the whole place was full of diners with chicken dinners. I was very sad to pull up one night and see it closed. Later I saw a Mexican flag replaced the American on the roof. I looked for a way to get up there but a dog kept barking and no way up there so I ran off the log to the next wide spot to sleep. I gave rides to some U.P. guys a couple times they had to get to the West end of the sidings it's a long walk. if it has reopened that's great a real American classic place.

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