[Masthead] Mostly Cloudy ~ 86°F  
High: 85°F ~ Low: 54°F
Sunday, Sep. 21, 2014

Picturing the Past 10: Meet Mr. Burger

Posted Tuesday, May 26, 2009, at 1:22 PM

(Photo)
Mr. Burger, on Madison Street, as pictured in October 1965. (T-G File Photo)
Among Shelbyville's drive-in (and sit-down) restaurants in the 1960s, Mr. Burger, on Madison Street, seems to have been one of the longest-lasting.

It was located where Dr. Will Alcorn's dental office is today; in fact, today's building was built as the second Mr. Burger after the one pictured here burned.

Here's a look at the original Mr. Burger, from October 1965. The sign, which hopefully can be read here, proclaims "The Aristocrat of all Hamburgers" and portrays Mr. Burger as a hamburger with a head and a top hat.

Mr. Burger, of course, is grandfather of Jack Box -- you know, the hamburger man on the Jack in the Box TV commercials who was wiped out by a bus during the Super Bowl. And if you believe that...

Anyway, the drive-in part of Mr. Burger was behind the building. I remember it as having yellow neon lights (think mustard) over each stall. And I thought the burgers tasted great, at least to a very small boy.

Does anyone remember who owned Mr. Burger?

This photo and several other negatives in the envelope were apparently shot for Mr. Burger's owners rather than the newspaper, as none were published. I looked for them, though, and discovered Big Springs Shopping Center's first big stores, Big K and Cooper & Martin, opened in October 1965, and that was also the time Depot Street was widened to four lanes from Deery Street to Germantown Road.

Picturing the Past is featured each Tuesday in this blog.


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Another great picture. I am sorry but I do not remember who owned Mr. Burger. As a matter of fact I do not think that I was ever inside the building. I always used the drive-in.

To the right in the photo you can see the trailers that were on the property of my eighth grade teacher (Mrs. Clara Clark) and the original site of Rambo Glass.

Also, I very well remember when the construction was going on to widen Depot Street. I was working for Bob Roberts Electric at the time and I can remember the construction being a mess for what seemed like forever.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, May 26, 2009, at 1:27 PM

A Mr. Johnson owned Mr. Burger, but I can't remember his first name. A.J. Lawson cooked there at one time and I think Big John Lee cooked there also.

They had the famous burger basket.

-- Posted by cordell on Tue, May 26, 2009, at 2:55 PM

I worked there one summer as a carhop. It was a good place to work and the food was great. Thanks so much for the memories.

-- Posted by nanato5 on Tue, May 26, 2009, at 3:20 PM

I love reading your blogs about life here in Shelbyville way back when!

I did not grow up here but its always nice to see how things have changed.

But to me it seems that our population has grown but our business have closed one after another. I am not sure if we are growing or regressing.

-- Posted by tamerajesch on Tue, May 26, 2009, at 8:31 PM

My Husband is wanting to know if you can find any information out on the heading mill or stave mill (not sure about spelling). It was on the corner of East Lane St. and Thompson St. His father worked their around 1958 and 1960. It was beside Beford Coal. Thank You

-- Posted by fancy100999 on Tue, May 26, 2009, at 9:42 PM

Also he says it was owned by David Williams.

-- Posted by fancy100999 on Tue, May 26, 2009, at 9:44 PM

I think the Kilpatricks ran Mr. Burger and also the Shoe store on Main

-- Posted by HRP on Tue, May 26, 2009, at 10:58 PM

tamerajesch, yes I agree that a lot of businesses have come and gone through the years and I am not always sure that we are the better for it. For instance I hate the fact that we have lost the full-service Service Stations like Overcast Texaco and many others in our quest to do things faster so we can make more bucks. It seems to me that there is a real need for full-service Service Stations but in today's economy they have not been able to survive. One of the great things about Shelbyville and Bedford County is that in the '30's and '40's everything revolved around the Cotton (Rubber) Mill, the Pencil Mills, and the Walking Horse Industry. Now after almost 70 years it is good to see that 2 of the 3 still remain in some form.

fancy100999, yes you are right about David Williams owning the "stave mill" and if my memory serves me correctly I think that before that it was a slat mill that produced slats for the pencil mills.

HRP, the Kilpatricks rings a bell with me in connection with Mr. Burger but I am not sure of his involvement. Also, I can remember when he had a shoe store in the first block off the square on Depot. I think that it was next door to John W. Ruth, Jewelers.

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, May 27, 2009, at 8:56 AM

I thought that Kilpatrick's shoe store was on Madison Street. Don't remember where though.

-- Posted by cookie on Thu, May 28, 2009, at 5:37 PM

Cookie, in the T-G's 1969 Sesquicentennial book it is listed as 114 Depot Street. As I remember that was almost cross corner from the Princess Theatre (second door down) and I believe beside the old John W. Ruth jewelry store.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, May 28, 2009, at 6:39 PM

John W. Ruth's was the store where we purchased our school books in the years before the State of Tennessee began providing them. Those years could be refered to as "the good old days" because the Arithmetic books had the answers in the back of the books. I know it sure helped me through grammar school.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, May 28, 2009, at 6:53 PM

Buds was a good place to eat also, it was i believe where Handy Dandy is now. my grand daddy was an everynighter at Handy Dandy for years. i wanna thank Frank and Alice for their kindness to him over the years. he was a prankster now, couldnt get anything on him-lol

-- Posted by fabulous1 on Thu, May 28, 2009, at 8:51 PM

when was "the cellar" opened and closed, and wasnt it on lane parkway?

-- Posted by fabulous1 on Thu, May 28, 2009, at 8:58 PM

I enjoy remembering these days, although I was very little. Do you remember Ray's Drive In? It was further out Madison Street, close to Lowe Oldsmobile and Doc McAnally's store and Honeyland.

-- Posted by decorate1 on Thu, May 28, 2009, at 9:55 PM

Ah yes, Ray's Drive-In. Another one of my favorite hang-outs, and another place that served the famous Al's Bar-B-Q. You could tell whether an establishment served Al's Bar-B-Q or not. If they did they had a plywood cut-out of a pig painted black with the words Al's Bar-B-Q painted on it displayed in the window.

-- Posted by leeiii on Fri, May 29, 2009, at 8:07 AM

fabulous1, yes if my memory serves me correctly I think that it was underneath Herb Kelton's 7-11 type store on Lane Parkway. It seems to me that about the time bands started coming up with nonsensical names like "Jefferson Airplane" there was a local band named "George Washington Bridge" and they may have gotten their start at "The Cellar".

-- Posted by leeiii on Fri, May 29, 2009, at 8:27 AM

Cookie & leeiii,

You are both right about the locations of Kilpatrick's shoes.He moved from uptown to a location on Madison St.sometime in the early seventies, best I can remember.

The location he moved to was the former location of Harvey Daugherty's service station, located on the corner of Madison and Alton, across from Madison St. School.

Best I can recall, there was a truck repair service behind the service station, operated by Buford Womble. This was in the early sixties that these businesses existed.

And I should probably mention that both Harvey and Buford were fine gentlemen in my opinion, based on the limited amount of contact that I had with them over the years.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Fri, May 29, 2009, at 11:08 AM

nanato5, we now have a permanent photo gallery set up where all these photos can be seen in one place, which gets me around the limitation of one photo per blog. You'll see a photo of the drive-in area where you worked. To decorate1 and leeiii, I remember Ray's Drive-In very well. As I've said before, that was the neighborhood I grew up in and I remember riding my bicycle around the old building after it closed; it was vacant for some time.

-- Posted by David Melson on Mon, Jun 1, 2009, at 3:03 PM

David thanks for the extra pictures of Mr. Burger in 1965. Another establishment that has just come to me today is the Milk Bar. I am surprised that someone had not already mentioned it. It would have been active in the early '50's. It was on North Main between the present day Regions branch bank and the old Renegar's Drug Store. I believe that United Cities Gas occupied that building for several years and if my memory serves me correctly maybe more recently the Senior Citizens group.

That was in the days before we knew about Sealtest and Jersey Farms. The parent of the "Milk Bar" was the Shelbyville Milk Company and they provided door to door delivery just after the war. If I remember correctly the "Milk Bar" had curb service (maybe the first in Shelbyville) and it was mostly ice cream service like cones, sundaes, shakes, sodas, etc. Your Mom and Dad are just a wee bit older than me and they could probably give you better details.

The local farmers had a choice of selling their milk to either Shelbyville Milk Company, Bordens, or Bedford Cheese.

-- Posted by leeiii on Mon, Jun 1, 2009, at 4:32 PM


Respond to this blog

Posting a comment requires free registration. If you already have an account, enter your username and password below. Otherwise, click here to register.

Username:

Password:  (Forgot your password?)

Your comments:
Please be respectful of others and try to stay on topic.


David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.