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I was reading in this one book about McDonald's and there was a paragraph about how McDonald's couldn't use the McDonald's name until they acquired the name from a local drive-in called McDonald's.

Does anyone remember those times/care to elaborate?

(sorry the intro is so short, I'm kind of on a deadline)

Edited by IronTiger
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I was reading in this one book about McDonald's and there was a paragraph about how McDonald's couldn't use the McDonald's name until they acquired the name from a local drive-in called McDonald's.

Does anyone remember those times/care to elaborate?

(sorry the intro is so short, I'm kind of on a deadline)

Not sure. I do remember in the 90s that a Texas restaurant had the name "Homestyle Burger" before McDonald's. McDonald's won the lawsuit.

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I was reading in this one book about McDonald's and there was a paragraph about how McDonald's couldn't use the McDonald's name until they acquired the name from a local drive-in called McDonald's.

Does anyone remember those times/care to elaborate?

(sorry the intro is so short, I'm kind of on a deadline)

I can't elaborate, but I can say that I've heard or read the same story before.

I never had a McDonald's of any kind where I grew up, in the 1960's, just Jack-in-the-Box & WhataBurger.

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In the '60s & before there was a local drive-in chain called McDonalds. It was like Princes, Ranger, Texan & others, with car-hops & sold beer. There was a McDonalds on Main & one on South Park - I think that's called MLK now - and probably some others that I can't remember. Not sure when Mickey Dees bought out the name - maybe mid to late '60s.

Edited by ernie5823
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completely different era, and I don't consider it historic, yet, but I remember the dos pesos/taco cabana law suits. totally pissed me off cause dos pesos had much better food and cheaper margaritas! (and at the time they didn't card as much, which was good for me).

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completely different era, and I don't consider it historic, yet, but I remember the dos pesos/taco cabana law suits. totally pissed me off cause dos pesos had much better food and cheaper margaritas! (and at the time they didn't card as much, which was good for me).

We had a Dos Pesos in Atlanta in the 90's before they were taken over by Taco Cabana. Sadly, even after the takeover it was by far the best Mexican food in Atlanta. Next best was Taco Bell (ugh).

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I can't elaborate, but I can say that I've heard or read the same story before.

I never had a McDonald's of any kind where I grew up, in the 1960's, just Jack-in-the-Box & WhataBurger.

I read it in "Behind the Arches" (which although putting McDonald's in a positive light, wasn't paid for by McDonald's...no conspiracy theories, please).

Here's a small snippet where it says so.

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It was in the late 60's............possibly as late as 1969. I remember the first McDonalds franchise that wew saw open was on Ella Blvd. near Waltrip High School. It seemed weird because the national marketing made it sound like they were everywhere. We in Houston had to wait though.

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The local McDonald's burger place kept the corporate Macs out of Houston for a good while. Burger King was in first and I believe that the strategy of the first McDonalds was to locate near the BK's.

On similar note, I first saw KFC as a featured chicken item at Weldon's Cafeteria rather than a stand alone restaurant.

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On similar note, I first saw KFC as a featured chicken item at Weldon's Cafeteria rather than a stand alone restaurant.

I think Hartz also had the Kentucky Fried Chicken "rights" in the 60's and early 70's

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I was reading in this one book about McDonald's and there was a paragraph about how McDonald's couldn't use the McDonald's name until they acquired the name from a local drive-in called McDonald's.

Does anyone remember those times/care to elaborate?

(sorry the intro is so short, I'm kind of on a deadline)

Yes it was at the south side of the ship channel 69 Th & Wayside East end Where the streets joined to cross the old 69 st bridge

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Yes it was at 69 Th & Wayside , East end south side of ship channel where the two streets crosed the old 69 Th street Bridge car hops & all ,Hang out for Milby hi school in the 50

That drive in might have been Mac's in the '50s, but by early '60s I believe it was the Texan. Texan also had one on Hempstead Hyw. & possibly others. Yeah, I went to Milby.

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Looks like McDonald's was here by 1972. The one mentioned by ernie on MLK (then South Park) was opened in 1972 and was the first black owned and operated McDonald's in Houston.

http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=2007_4346877

my 1957 phonebook shows the Mc Donalds drive inns at 2302 wayside (right by the 69th st bridge) and at 6339 South Park which would be almost next door to the later Golden Arches above that opened in '72

Edited by gnu
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my 1957 phonebook shows the Mc Donalds drive inns at 2302 wayside (right by the 69th st bridge) and at 6339 South Park which would be almost next door to the later Golden Arches above that opened in '72

Here I go again with 45+ y/o teenager memories, but seems like the one on Southpark was next to or very near the King Center Twin Drive-in movie.

The closest thing to a Mickey Dees hamburger in Houston, 1960s & before was a local (I think) chain called Prices. They had small burgers with mustard/ketchup mix, a couple dill slices & chopped onions, for 19 cents, I believe- fries were 12 cents. Prices was a walk-up with a few picnic benches & were all over town (also Pasadena?), but one was right down Southpark at intersection with Belfort, I believe.

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Here I go again with 45+ y/o teenager memories, but seems like the one on Southpark was next to or very near the King Center Twin Drive-in movie.

The closest thing to a Mickey Dees hamburger in Houston, 1960s & before was a local (I think) chain called Prices. They had small burgers with mustard/ketchup mix, a couple dill slices & chopped onions, for 19 cents, I believe- fries were 12 cents. Prices was a walk-up with a few picnic benches & were all over town (also Pasadena?), but one was right down Southpark at intersection with Belfort, I believe.

from 1969: - sorry no pasadena directory :)

Price's Hamburgers

1: 3908 Bellaire (currently Jack-in-the-Box)

2: 8505 Jensen

4: 1728 Wirt

6: 8020 South Park (currently Tailor Cleaners - looks like it could be the original bldg)

8: 3425 Ella (currently Jack-in-the-Box)

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I too am going on a 40+ year memory, but there was a (M-A-C) MacDonalds on Main across the street, east, from 2016 Main. Very similar to Princes, about the same menu and car hop service. I know it was there from early 60's until at least 1967. I believe the Greyhound? bus station is there now.

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my 1957 phonebook shows the Mc Donalds drive inns at 2302 wayside (right by the 69th st bridge) and at 6339 South Park which would be almost next door to the later Golden Arches above that opened in '72

My cousins lived down the street from the McDonald's at 6339 South Park in the early 60s. Our family ate at that McDonalds a few times. In my memory those McDonald's burgers were more like a Prince's hamburger than they were like the national chain burger.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was reading in this one book about McDonald's and there was a paragraph about how McDonald's couldn't use the McDonald's name until they acquired the name from a local drive-in called McDonald's.

Does anyone remember those times/care to elaborate?

(sorry the intro is so short, I'm kind of on a deadline)

the original mcdonals was located on wayside drive. as you come from I-10 take the wayside exit and go south. as you pass all the train tracks on your left you will come to an overpass. as you come down the other side wayside makes a slight turn. the old hamburger stand was on your right very close to the old army/navy surplus store. before the (big) mcdonalds came, they had to change or get naming rights. the old hamburger stand that i am referring too was there in the 40's, maybe before. as for as the dates and times that it lost its name, i have no idea now, im old and i have forgotten a lot of stuff lol

another old buffalo, class of 65

Edited by capt. kirk
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It was in the late 60's............possibly as late as 1969. I remember the first McDonalds franchise that wew saw open was on Ella Blvd. near Waltrip High School. It seemed weird because the national marketing made it sound like they were everywhere. We in Houston had to wait though.

i dont remember the name of the hamburger place next to waltrip, i just remember it being in the same parking lot. pretty cool that you could leave the school grounds for lunch. also i remember waltrip as having a jukebox in the cafeteria. our school got one in 64.

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That drive in might have been Mac's in the '50s, but by early '60s I believe it was the Texan. Texan also had one on Hempstead Hyw. & possibly others. Yeah, I went to Milby.

from one ex-buffalo to another, class of 65, the school has never looked better and she looks good for 80. my whole family went to milby from 33-75. i might know some of you

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  • 3 months later...

It was "MacDonalds" and it was a drive-in burger place that competed with Prince's. You pulled in with your car, checked the menu posted on front of building or on pole next to car, then when you were ready to order, you flashed your headlights and a car-hop came to your car and took your order. You could even order beer. At night, the young kids would cruise around showing off thier hotrods and later, muscle cars. Those were real burgers, fries and milkshakes.

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Anybody have a memory (or old phonebook listing) of a MacDonalds (carhop drive-in) other than the one on Southpark, Main or one on Wayside (at 69th st. bridge)? Those are only three that I remember from my teenage years in late '50s & early '60s.

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i dont remember the name of the hamburger place next to waltrip, i just remember it being in the same parking lot. pretty cool that you could leave the school grounds for lunch. also i remember waltrip as having a jukebox in the cafeteria. our school got one in 64.

Hey Capt., that burger joint next to Waltrip was the, "Chuckwagon"... ahhh, now you remember! The guy that was the cook ( Forget his name now, but it was on his shirt ) was real skinny, dark tan, and always wore a white cook's shirt with the sleeves rolled up to mid-biceps. White apron, and had his cap on that resembled the military type, but it was white with a red ribbon around the top, and he always had it tipped to the side. Had his Camel non - filters in his top pocket, and was a genuine tough guy - tattoos all over, with anchors on the forearms. He was so fast with those orders, man, we used to just watch for the entertainment value. I believe he was in the Navy in WWII as a cook. I never saw anyone else cooking there, so I'm not sure if he owned it, started it, or franchised it. They had big burgers, and to me, tasted, and looked, just like Whataburger, today. I went to Reagan, but we had a lot of friends who went to Waltrip. I played football, and ran track, so we were always over there with our competition, eating burgers. I'm not sure if there were any other Chuckwagons around ... anyone know ? I don't know what happenned to the cook, as we left Houston @ 1964. Man, the only time I saw him slow down was to catch a cigarette. He didn't talk to anyone much, was very nice when he did, but we all knew not to mess with him either. I can smell one of those biiiig juicy burgers right now !!

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Hey Capt., that burger joint next to Waltrip was the, "Chuckwagon"... ahhh, now you remember! The guy that was the cook ( Forget his name now, but it was on his shirt ) was real skinny, dark tan, and always wore a white cook's shirt with the sleeves rolled up to mid-biceps. White apron, and had his cap on that resembled the military type, but it was white with a red ribbon around the top, and he always had it tipped to the side. Had his Camel non - filters in his top pocket, and was a genuine tough guy - tattoos all over, with anchors on the forearms. He was so fast with those orders, man, we used to just watch for the entertainment value. I believe he was in the Navy in WWII as a cook. I never saw anyone else cooking there, so I'm not sure if he owned it, started it, or franchised it. They had big burgers, and to me, tasted, and looked, just like Whataburger, today. I went to Reagan, but we had a lot of friends who went to Waltrip. I played football, and ran track, so we were always over there with our competition, eating burgers. I'm not sure if there were any other Chuckwagons around ... anyone know ? I don't know what happenned to the cook, as we left Houston @ 1964. Man, the only time I saw him slow down was to catch a cigarette. He didn't talk to anyone much, was very nice when he did, but we all knew not to mess with him either. I can smell one of those biiiig juicy burgers right now !!

I remember Chuckwagon well, from the 60's; there was one in the Griggs/OST area.

Wheel Burger, Hub Burger and Spoke Dogs and huge drinks!!

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I remember Chuckwagon well, from the 60's; there was one in the Griggs/OST area.

Wheel Burger, Hub Burger and Spoke Dogs and huge drinks!!

Several in the Southwest part of town...one on Bellaire just west of Chimney Rock near Holy Ghost School and one near the intersection of Bissonett and Beechnut( that was still around until the late 70s. Don't get me started on Mr. Hamburger....

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I remember Chuckwagon well, from the 60's; there was one in the Griggs/OST area.

Wheel Burger, Hub Burger and Spoke Dogs and huge drinks!!

I just ate at Smashburger on S. Main for the first time. I had no idea why they called it that, but found out that they smash the burgers just like in the old days, to create that effect, and taste.

Anyone ever eat at Yale Pharmacy in the '50's - early'60's? The cook had a large iron weight they would lay on top of several patties at a time, and smash 'em. They did the same at my favorite eating place, Sammy's Cafe on 19th - anyone ate there ? How 'bout Balfanz Pharmacy - world famous for thier malts. Elvis even drank one there!

I had a crush on the waitress at Sammy's. Her name was Roma ... and she always gave me 25 cents for five songs on the juke box. Man ... Happy Days had nothin' on the Heights in the '50's.

Sorry, I lost my point... I was going to relate that they not only smashed the burgers at the Chuckwagon, but painted the buns with warm butter, and toasted mine crisp everytime. You know- had the little crispies around the edge of the bun.

Edited by 24zulu
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I too was a mid term graduate. Westbury '64. We lived out off Hiram Clark and S. Main long before the McClendon theaters went in.

My best friend was a year older and she had a '56 Ford stick shift. On Saturday nights, if we could get a little money together for gas, we'd go "cruising". We'd start at Prince's on Main at OST, drive thru there a couple of times, then on to Bill William's in the medical center. After that, we'd head on to MacDonald's on Main where 2016 is. If memory serves me, it was about where the McDonald's is now.

We'd get an order of fries and a drink and after that, we'd head on back down Fannin to start over again. This went on 3 or 4 times, spending a little time parked at each place. Of course, we had to have the windows down with the radio blaring full blast. KILT was full rock and roll then.

All these places had car hops and I'm sure those gals hated to see us 'young'uns' come through because we never did have enough money to leave a tip. Fun times in the summers and weekends during school. I'm talking '62 thru mid term '64. Don't know when McD's bought out MacD's because I moved away from Houston for a few years. Prince's on S. Main stayed around for quite some time. The Prince's on Gulf Fwy near UofH lasted a good while too.

I thought the drive-in at 69th and Wayside was a Stephen's but seems it wasn't. Now, where was Stephen's??

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I too was a mid term graduate. Westbury '64. We lived out off Hiram Clark and S. Main long before the McClendon theaters went in.

My best friend was a year older and she had a '56 Ford stick shift. On Saturday nights, if we could get a little money together for gas, we'd go "cruising". We'd start at Prince's on Main at OST, drive thru there a couple of times, then on to Bill William's in the medical center. After that, we'd head on to MacDonald's on Main where 2016 is. If memory serves me, it was about where the McDonald's is now.

We'd get an order of fries and a drink and after that, we'd head on back down Fannin to start over again. This went on 3 or 4 times, spending a little time parked at each place. Of course, we had to have the windows down with the radio blaring full blast. KILT was full rock and roll then.

All these places had car hops and I'm sure those gals hated to see us 'young'uns' come through because we never did have enough money to leave a tip. Fun times in the summers and weekends during school. I'm talking '62 thru mid term '64. Don't know when McD's bought out MacD's because I moved away from Houston for a few years. Prince's on S. Main stayed around for quite some time. The Prince's on Gulf Fwy near UofH lasted a good while too.

I thought the drive-in at 69th and Wayside was a Stephen's but seems it wasn't. Now, where was Stephen's??

A bit of trivia from my wife, who went to high school in the '60's with one of the girls of the Prince family, the MacDonald's family were cousins of the Prince family.

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  • 8 years later...

I’m afraid you are confusing downtown McDonalds with either Bill Williams or Stuart’s, both drive-ins and both on South Main. The McDonald’s in question was in downtown Houston and was walk in. It was a stone building with a small cacti garden in front next to parking. I used to take dates there after downtown movies. It was located where the large downtown McDonalds is now.

 

When McDonalds was spreading across the country some people would open little burger places named McDonalds to extort money. Knowing this it was the policy of Ray Crock to challenge such places in court with the demand that they change their name. One Day attorneys arrived at the Houston McDonalds and demanded that they change their name. I was told by my father that they were quite rude and arrogant about it and had they been reasonable something could have been worked out.

 

ultimatlty they sued and, using their tried and true method, proceeded to claim the Houston McDonalds was a fraud created solely to extort money from a national chain. I have it on good authority that the judge, I forget his name, told them that he had courted his wife there in the 1920’s and did not appreciate lies in his court and ruled against Ray Crock. For years there were McDonalds everywhere but Houston. Eventually, McDonalds paid a reported twenty million for the building and name. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 7/24/2018 at 10:04 AM, Burch Downman said:

I’m afraid you are confusing downtown McDonalds with either Bill Williams or Stuart’s, both drive-ins and both on South Main. The McDonald’s in question was in downtown Houston and was walk in. It was a stone building with a small cacti garden in front next to parking. I used to take dates there after downtown movies. It was located where the large downtown McDonalds is now.

 

When McDonalds was spreading across the country some people would open little burger places named McDonalds to extort money. Knowing this it was the policy of Ray Crock to challenge such places in court with the demand that they change their name. One Day attorneys arrived at the Houston McDonalds and demanded that they change their name. I was told by my father that they were quite rude and arrogant about it and had they been reasonable something could have been worked out.

 

ultimatlty they sued and, using their tried and true method, proceeded to claim the Houston McDonalds was a fraud created solely to extort money from a national chain. I have it on good authority that the judge, I forget his name, told them that he had courted his wife there in the 1920’s and did not appreciate lies in his court and ruled against Ray Crock. For years there were McDonalds everywhere but Houston. Eventually, McDonalds paid a reported twenty million for the building and name. 

 

The MacDonald's on Main at Gray was a carhop drive-in. It was there at least as early as 1955, because we ate there at least that early. The family that owned it and the other two local carhop MacDonald's couldn't have opened it to extort money from the national McDonalds, because in 1955 the McDonalds we know today was a small regional chain that Ray Kroc hadn't even bought yet.

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Do we have a thread on the McDonald's on Post Oak in Uptown?

 

How embarrassing for the people who work and live there.  When is their lease up? Wonder if they've ever had complaints against their business? Probably Post Oak's main source of street litter is originating from that McDonald's :rolleyes:

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I have some pics of the one on Post Oak from when the Astoria was built... 

Original McDonalds (pre Astoria):  http://s1241.photobucket.com/user/SkylineView/media/photo1_zps74ebca30.jpg.html

New McDonalds (pre Astoria):  http://s1241.photobucket.com/user/SkylineView/media/IMG_1868_zps991234f3.jpg.html

During Astoria construction: http://s1241.photobucket.com/user/SkylineView/media/2014 07 19/IMG_2175_zps8367892c.jpg.html

5 minutes ago: http://s1241.photobucket.com/user/SkylineView/media/IMG_5777_zpsblcnaf7v.jpg.html

 

I can't get content to work properly on the site... if anyone can pull these out of purgatory and into the thread... please do. 

All pics by me.

 

You wouldn't believe how many people walk over there on weekend mornings.  #ImLovingIt

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  • 3 months later...

The McDonald and the Prince family were related through marriage. Doug Prince had a number of drive-ins in Houston for years. The McDonald family were from the Angleton  Freeport area. The McDonald's came to Houston and started building drive-ins too. I think the first but not totally sure, but certainly the best location was located at Gray and Main on the north east corner where the current McDonald's is located. There was a Prince's drive in directly across the street where the Greyhound bus station is located today. The chain McDonald's was trying to get into the Houston Marker for years without success. They finally offered the McDonald family enough money and they sold the rights to the name and the property at Main and Gray. I do not know about the other properties that the McDonald family had. I have some pictures of that old drive-in but for some reason the system is not allowing me to post them.

Edited by Michelle C
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  • 5 weeks later...

and in other McDonald's news, the one in the Houston Galleria food court has closed permanently apparently...last night i was at the chik fil a and asked the manager why the McDonald's was walled up and said I had hoped it was finally undergoing much needed renovation but she said no, it was closed permanently due to not being able to afford the increasingly high rent. 

wow times are changing...

 

Edited by gene
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We hung out at Bill Williams Drive In (Dryden and S Main) and would caravan up to McDonald's  located south of Pierce Elevated, North of Gray between Main and Fannin to try and dig up street races, The McDonald's crowd was mostly into show and would never race. 

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  • 9 months later...

I grew up in the Heights and remember the Texan on Hempstead and the Bulldog on N. Shepard (both closed before I started driving). Started driving in the mid 60s and went to the Princes and the Pig Stand on 15th and Shepard Drive, the Pig Stand and Princes on Washington ( I remember the cute English twins the worked this location). We went to Stuarts on N. Main once or twice ( they had the air conditioners with hoses that you could cool your car on the hot Houston nights).

 

The McDonald's on Main and W. Gray was our favorite location. We would travel South on Fannin to Bill Williams then return on Main St. A few car races were often involved. A carhop by the name of Virginia was our favorite as she wouldn't card us and would warn us to be careful if an officer was patrolling nearby. We never consumed more than two beers so she didn't have to say 'No More for you' as I'm sure she would have. (we probably couldn't afford anymore beers anyway as we did leave a good tip...at least we thought we did). I'm sure she is gone from this earth by now since she was about 30 years older than us back then.

 

I was drafted in July of 1969 then spent the next year in Vietnam and when I came back in '71 to my disappointment  my beloved McDonalds was gone and replaced with the current Ronald McDonalds.

Life goes on...……...

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/11/2009 at 8:19 AM, IronTiger said:

I was reading in this one book about McDonald's and there was a paragraph about how McDonald's couldn't use the McDonald's name until they acquired the name from a local drive-in called McDonald's.

Does anyone remember those times/care to elaborate?

(sorry the intro is so short, I'm kind of on a deadline)

Yes they couldn't come in until they bought out the local company. I believe it was the early 70's. Burger joints were Burger King, Princes, Jack in the Box, and Whataburger was starting to show up. Coming out of Corpus Christie.. Whataburger is now the top dog.

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