Hello everyone. Today I will be writing about restaurants that served hamburgers in the Chicagoland area that are no longer around. There were a few that people fondly remembered and are still talked about today. Currently, few hamburger restaurants are part of franchises in Chicago. There is McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s. Others that have arrived in the area in recent years are Steak n’ Shake and Fuddruckers. I believe all the Fuddruckers locations in Chicago are closed now.
I will now mention the hamburger restaurants that I remembered as a child from dining there and its TV commercials. First, there was Henry Hamburgers. The restaurant entered the Chicagoland area in the mid-1950s. I never had the opportunity to eat there. There weren’t any when I lived in the South Shore and Roseland neighborhoods of Chicago. In South Shore in the 1960s, there was a restaurant called The Red Barn. It served hamburgers and fried chicken. I never dined there, but many people on social media have mentioned the place frequently. It was a popular place at the time. Henry’s Hamburgers were an ideal favorite to everyone as Mcdonald’s and Burger King. The Chicago locations closed in the 1970s. There is one left in Benton Harbor, Michigan.
The others that I remembered were Jack In the Box, Burger Chef, and Yankee Doodle Dandy. Of the three, only Burger Chef is the one I never ate there. I remembered the Burger Chef TV commercials that aired on WFLD-TV Channel 32 in Chicago in the 1970s. Their two famous hamburgers were Big Shef and Super Shef. Their locations closed in the early 1980s. Jack In The Box was in the Chicagoland area for years. I remembered one in the city and was at the corner of West Fullerton Avenue and Kimball Ave. It was across the street from the Avon Theater. It is still in business on the west coast.
Yankee Doodle Dandy was another one that people remembered. Its Dandyburger was everyone’s favorite. Also on its menu was roast beef and fried chicken. The buildings had a red, white, and blue motif. Their jingle in the early 1970s was “Come On Down Where The Good Times Are! Yankee Doodle Dandy!” The logos of those restaurants were so iconic. The Jack in the Box clown head drive-thru menu was colorful. I’m unsure if Burger Chef or Yankee Doodle Dandy had drive-thrus when they were in business.
The other three places that served hamburgers were Chicken Unlimited, Gossage Grill, and Wimpy’s. Chicken Unlimited, notable for its fried chicken, had hamburgers on its menu. It was called the Whamburger. I have eaten it, and it was enjoyable. Gossage Grill was a well-remembered place in Chicago. People have said their hamburgers were delicious. The Wimpy hamburgers brand undoubtedly inspired by the character of J. Wellington Wimpy from the Popeye cartoons. It was enormously popular when it was in downtown Chicago. Other locations closed in the 1960s.
When I started my Facebook page a few years ago, a restaurant that closed down years ago was mentioned frequently in the comments. It was called the Come Back Inn, and it was at Melrose Park, Illinois. Their desired item on the menu was the Kodiak Burger. It was a half-pound hamburger on dark Bavarian bread. It was a huge seller. I am amazed that the restaurant and menu item made an enormous impact on everyone that dined there.
Today I still eat hamburgers outside the home. I eat fast food infrequently. I get a craving for White Castle hamburgers at times. I have been eating since I was a teenager. It’s across the street from Bogan High School in Chicago. My favorite one right now is from Portillo’s.
The best hamburgers to eat are homemade. There is no comparison. If you have or had a favorite place for eating hamburgers, please comment here or on my social media accounts. Thank you. Pete Kastanes. Admin for Vanished Chicagoland Facebook Page.