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Burger Chef

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Over here, 100 miles east of Houston, I remember back in the 1960s and 1970s a fast food restaurant chain called "Burger Chef." They sold a basic hamburger for 15 cents. Their commercial jingle went: "15 cent, a nickel and a dime." They've been gone for at least 25 years from here.

Were there ever any Burger Chef's in Houston?

Chet Cuccia

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Over here, 100 miles east of Houston, I remember back in the 1960s and 1970s a fast food restaurant chain called "Burger Chef."  They sold a basic hamburger for 15 cents.  Their commercial jingle went:  "15 cent, a nickel and a dime."  They've been gone for at least 25 years from here.

Were there ever any Burger Chef's in Houston?

Chet Cuccia

There were some in Houston. I know I went there a few times. There were two that that were near Gulfgate. and the signs are even still there!

There was one on Reveille near Park Place. The building is muddled up but you can still tell it was a Burger Chef. The sign is not in great shape but you can make out some of the details from the ghost writing.

The other one is off of Bellfort west of Telephone. The building is gone but the sign is in surprisingly good shape. You can still see the advertising for 15 cent hamburgers and the little chef character with the big mustache.

There used to be pics of these signs on the web, but i couldnt relocate them today.

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There were some in Houston.  I know I went there a few times.  There were two that that were near Gulfgate.  and the signs are even still there!

There was one on Reveille near Park Place.  The building is muddled up but you can still tell it was a Burger Chef.  The sign is not in great shape but you can make out some of the details from the ghost writing.

The other one is off of Bellfort west of Telephone.  The building is gone but the sign is in surprisingly good shape.  You can still see the advertising for 15 cent hamburgers and the little chef character with the big mustache.

There used to be pics of these signs on the web, but i couldnt relocate them today.

Yeah, I think that the whole Burger Chef chain is gone. But during that time (1962-64) we didn't eat out much. Mostly I remember the Monterey House. I remember that it was located on Telephone Road where it intersected another street. Someone mentioned a street called Reveille (did I spell it right?).

I looked that up on a current street map of Houston. That was the street that intersected with Telephone Road where the Monterey House was! I also remember a supermarket then called Henke & Pillott (now called Kroger) at that intesection.

Chet Cuccia

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Oh, yes, that's how they looked. It's amazing how you and those other guys over there in Houston manage to come up almost immediately with photos to post!

Chet Cuccia

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oh...the pictures I was referring to, were of the current signs on the old burger chefs on reveille and off bellfort. A couple of years ago, Someone had posted them on a burger chef fan site. I couldnt find them when i looked today though.

The signs are pretty much like that except there is a large "15 cents" where the orange diamond is below the chef. Probably change for obvious reasons...so wouldnt have to get up on the sign if there was a price increase.

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oh...the pictures I was referring to, were of the current signs on the old burger chefs on reveille and off bellfort.  A couple of years ago, Someone had posted them on a burger chef fan site.  I couldnt find them when i looked today though.

The signs are pretty much like that except there is a large "15 cents" where the orange diamond is below the chef.  Probably change for obvious reasons...so wouldnt have to get up on the sign if there was a price increase.

I remember that you did indeed get your 15 cents worth. A small bun, a small meat patty, and maybe a slice of a pickle and maybe a squirt of catsup. I live down the street from a McDonalds. The $1 double cheeseburger, to me, isn't too bad. It kinda of reminds me of Burger Chef.

Chet Cuccia

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Anyone remember the "Furgerson's" quickie mart near the Belfort Burger Chef?

I got locked in a phone booth there once.

What do you mean "locked"? I don't recall phone booths having any kind of lock on the doors.

Chet Cuccia

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Wasn't there one at S Main and OST?

I could have sworn there was still one on 43rd between Jester and Rosslyn, but that one is a Mitiburger. Same concept, I think.

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Back in the 1960s, in every Thursday newpaper over here was a Burger Chef ad. It always had the Friday special on fish burgers. Naturally, that was back when the Vatican frowned on eating meat on Friday.

Chet Cuccia

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I remember these. There was one on Nasa 1 just west of El Camino Real in the Clear Lake City area. It was on the South side of Nasa 1.

After it folded, it was several different eating places till the State came in and bought all of that land for the new NASA 1 bypass that probably will never be finished in our lifetime.

These folks had some good burgers and shakes.

Thanks for the photo of the building. What a flashback!

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I remember these. There was one on Nasa 1 just west of El Camino Real in the Clear Lake City area. It was on the South side of Nasa 1.

After it folded, it was several different eating places till the State came in and bought all of that land for the new NASA 1 bypass that probably will never be finished in our lifetime.

These folks had some good burgers and shakes.

Thanks for the photo of the building. What a flashback!

The building in Port Arthur that used to be a Burger Chef is now some kind of a seafood place.

Chet Cuccia

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At least the building is still around. The one that was here is nothing but a field now.

Is the sign or parts of it still there?

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I have seen some rusted out remains of the old Burger Chef signs when taking some back routes in & out of the southeast area. I think one is on Reveille and the other is somewhere down Bellefort around Mykawa.

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I carry a digital camera with me when am out and about. If I see any around I will get a photo of what is left.

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This is a cool one.

1965nightshot.jpg

The one on Reveille is one block south of where I live. The building is still there but the front has been extended outward and there are no windows. The entire building has been painted brown. The sign is still there but has been painted over and you can see real faintly that it once read "Fried Chicken" in the place where it originally said "Hamburgers". Don't know what goes on there but it appears to be some kind of business. I've seen people go in and out of there. It looks like its been redone inside.

I actually was able to get into the one on Belfort. Must have been around 82 or 83. I was on my way home from school (Hartman). I noticed that the board over one of the side doors had been pulled back. So my friends and I went in. All the windows had been broken out. There was glass everywhere. Suprisingly it was still pretty intact. All the tables and most of the chairs were still there. All of the kitchen equipment was still there. The backbar still in place with the menu over it listing the food items and prices. I tried taking the letters from it but they broke as I tried to pull them off.

It looked exactly like this.

bc_backbar.jpg

We didn't stay too long because I was afraid of getting caught. I wish I had looked around more. I walked around the dining area briefly. Hopped up on the counter then over to the backbar and thats as far as I went. The kitchen area was too dark for me.

Here's a link to someones Burger Chef site......

and there are links to others there.

JSF's Burger Chef Page

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This is a cool one. 

1965nightshot.jpg

The one on Reveille is one block south of where I live. The building is still there but the front has been extended outward and there are no windows. The entire building has been painted brown. The sign is still there but has been painted over and you can see real faintly that it once read "Fried Chicken" in the place where it originally said "Hamburgers". Don't know what goes on there but it appears to be some kind of business. I've seen people go in and out of there. It looks like its been redone inside.

I actually was able to get into the one on Belfort. Must have been around 82 or 83. I was on my way home from school (Hartman). I noticed that the board over one of the side doors had been pulled back. So my friends and I went in. All the windows had been broken out. There was glass everywhere. Suprisingly it was still pretty intact. All the tables and most of the chairs were still there. All of the kitchen equipment was still there. The backbar still in place with the menu over it listing the food items and prices. I tried taking the letters from it but they broke as I tried to pull them off.

It looked exactly like this.

bc_backbar.jpg

We didn't stay too long because I was afraid of getting caught. I wish I had looked around more. I walked around the dining area briefly. Hopped up on the counter then over to the backbar and thats as far as I went. The kitchen area was too dark for me.

Here's a link to someones Burger Chef site......

and there are links to others there.

JSF's Burger Chef Page

Over here, the building that was the Burger Chef in Port Arthur is now some kind of a seafood place. The last time I looked at the one that was in Orange, I think, is a Pizza Hut. But I might not have been looking good. It might have been demolished.

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here's the one on reveille by park place - looks like "scottie's fried chicken" maybe...

it's mucked up, but definitely recognizable (even tonight in the pitch-black)

the building still has the triangular sign on the roof as well...

burgerchef2.jpg

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here's the one on reveille by park place - looks like "scottie's fried chicken" maybe...

it's mucked up, but definitely recognizable (even tonight in the pitch-black)

the building still has the triangular sign on the roof as well...

I just returned from a trip to Indiana and Illinois where I shot pictures of some old Burger Chef sites. You can see them here:

http://www.thebawdycloister.com/reliquary/...ages/index.html

Thanks for the info on the Houston sites. Hope to swing by them soon.

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great website - thanks for posting it!

i am on a search for googie architecture in houston - needless to say, i'm not coming up with much. there is a neat place in baytown, though:

service1.jpg

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i am on a search for googie architecture in houston - needless to say, i'm not coming up with much.  there is a neat place in baytown, though:

It's the old Phillips 66 station at Pruett and Park.

Hasn't been a gas station for close to 30 years. Was a car repair place forever before its latest incarnation as a window tint place.

Right next door to the south is an old U-totem now Boudain place. (for those people inquiring about utotems on another thread) I think it still has the Utotem green tile.

Speaking of googie stuff...

I guess you have noticed that several months ago they demolished the old googie car wash at Howard/Bellfort and I-45.

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oh...the pictures I was referring to, were of the current signs on the old burger chefs on reveille and off bellfort.  A couple of years ago, Someone had posted them on a burger chef fan site.  I couldnt find them when i looked today though.

The signs are pretty much like that except there is a large "15 cents" where the orange diamond is below the chef.  Probably change for obvious reasons...so wouldnt have to get up on the sign if there was a price increase.

The price probably went up by the time that picture was taken, if you look way back there on the left, that looks like a 1968 chevy impala coupe. B)

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It's the old Phillips 66 station at Pruett and Park.

Hasn't been a gas station for close to 30 years.  Was a car repair place forever before its latest incarnation as a window tint place.

Right next door to the south is an old U-totem now Boudain place. (for those people inquiring about utotems on another thread)  I think it still has the Utotem green tile.

Speaking of googie stuff...

I guess you have noticed that several months ago they demolished the old googie car wash at Howard/Bellfort and I-45.

Gnu, are you from Baytown ?

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i should take a pic of sinclair with the sinage still up on howard near ahrens in se houston.

Back when I lived in Houston in the early 1960s, I remember us driving by a Sinclair refinery. I think that it was on Highway 225 in Pasadena. I remember seeing the big dinosaur logo on an oil storage tank. Is my memory correct? Does someone out there know if there was a Sinclair refinery there?

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Over here, the building that was the Burger Chef in Port Arthur is now some kind of a seafood place. The last time I looked at the one that was in Orange, I think, is a Pizza Hut. But I might not have been looking good. It might have been demolished.

Now I've just remember something else about Burger Chef. Back when I was a kid in the 1960s, Catholics didn't eat meat on Fridays. I remember in every Thursday's newspaper Burger Chef would advertize their Friday fish sandwich special. Does anyone else out there also remember this?

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great website - thanks for posting it!

i am on a search for googie architecture in houston - needless to say, i'm not coming up with much. there is a neat place in baytown, though:

service1.jpg

Let us know what you find!

A good example is the closed car wash off the Gulf Freeway near Monroe that has a row of freestanding pylons.

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Let us know what you find!

A good example is the closed car wash off the Gulf Freeway near Monroe that has a row of freestanding pylons.

Sorry, subdude...the car wash was demolished several months ago and replaced by a non descript convenience store/gas station.

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Sorry, subdude...the car wash was demolished several months ago and replaced by a non descript convenience store/gas station.

Rats!

Well, thanks for the update.

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One other kind of faded example of local googie I can think of. On the Gulf Freeway near UH there is a small beat-up looking round building with the classic googie folded-plate roof. It is right next to a motel. I'm not sure what it was originally.

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One other kind of faded example of local googie I can think of. On the Gulf Freeway near UH there is a small beat-up looking round building with the classic googie folded-plate roof. It is right next to a motel. I'm not sure what it was originally.

i believe you are thinking of Chequer Imports. At least that what it says on the old sign.

45 northbound just before Cullen.

I think it was a used car lot....dunno what it was originally..somehow i thought it was an old Prince's Drive-in..but I don't remember why I thought that.

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i believe you are thinking of Chequer Imports. At least that what it says on the old sign.

45 northbound just before Cullen.

I think it was a used car lot....dunno what it was originally..somehow i thought it was an old Prince's Drive-in..but I don't remember why I thought that.

There actually was a Prince's at that corner. Just north of the Chequer Imports

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There actually was a Prince's at that corner. Just north of the Chequer Imports

I can tell you of two Burger Chefs that I visited. One was in Galveston on the seawall towards the East End. At the time there was a small amusement park near it that had a "Wild Mouse' ride.

A lot closer to home, there was a Burger Chef located in Bellaire on Chimney Rock (6700 block) just north of Bellaire Blvd. It was located near where the "M & M Hobby Center" is located. They had great Cheeseburgers and at this particular one..............Baklava! :D

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This wasn't in Houston, but it's how they looked.

bc%20open%20kite%204.jpg

Yes, I remember the jingle on the radio commercial: "15 cents, a nickel and a dime." It was a small burger with a slice of pickle and a squirt of catsup.

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I can tell you of two Burger Chefs that I visited. One was in Galveston on the seawall towards the East End. At the time there was a small amusement park near it that had a "Wild Mouse' ride.

The one in Galveston was between 12th and 13 on Seawall Blvd. It is now Benno's Restaurant. You can see the "bones" of Burger Chef in the current pic.

beachsidepic.jpg

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Which was the one that had the sign much like Burger Chef but had the little chef running holding up a hamburger on a plate up in the air. I alway thought that was Burger Chef.

joe

Edited by texianjoe

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The one in Galveston was between 12th and 13 on Seawall Blvd. It is now Benno's Restaurant. You can see the "bones" of Burger Chef in the current pic.

beachsidepic.jpg

There used to be Burger Chefs in almost every city over here in the Golden Triangle. Not anymore. My theory is is that the bigger chains were more popular. That's my theory about that roadside snack stop called "Stuckey's." I believe that when Cracker Barrels popped up along the interstates, Stuckey's starting folding.

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Which was the one that had the sign much like Burger Chef but had the little chef running holding up a hamburger on a plate up in the air. I alway thought that was Burger Chef.

joe

Your description sounds like the "Big Boy" or "Bobs Big Boy" resturants to me. Which at one time, there was one in Bellaire, but later was a Champs. :D

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After all of these years, I thought the building was gone. I know I have driven past there "lots" of times and did not realize it was still standing. Thanx for the pic of Benno's. Next time I go down there I will check it out. :)

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This wasn't in Houston, but it's how they looked.

bc%20open%20kite%204.jpg

Over here many years ago, there was a burger drive-in called "Drake's." I remember one in Nederland and one in Port Arthur. It was a place where a carhop would bring your food out to you. You'd roll up your window a little so that she could affix the tray to it. They were demolished 30-35 years ago. Were there ever any "Drake's" in Houston, or were they just over here?

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Your description sounds like the "Big Boy" or "Bobs Big Boy" resturants to me. Which at one time, there was one in Bellaire, but later was a Champs. :D

No, I remember Big Boy with his checkered overalls and fliped up hair. This was a sign much like Burger Chef even the little men looked very similar.

joe

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The one in Galveston was between 12th and 13 on Seawall Blvd. It is now Benno's Restaurant. You can see the "bones" of Burger Chef in the current pic.

beachsidepic.jpg

I've eaten there many times and never realized it was a Burger Chef.

I only ate at Burger Chef one time, in Austin next to Highland Mall (?) in the 60s. The condiments bar was such a pig sty that I never went back.

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This wasn't in Houston, but it's how they looked.

bc%20open%20kite%204.jpg

Now Burger Chef's TV jingle just popped into my head:

"Hello, Hello, come and stay awhile

At Burger Chef we'll always make you smile"

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When I hear the words Burger Chef, I automatically think of the phrase "Burger Chef & Jeff." I don't know why. Were there any restaurants with the name "Jeff" added, or were there any commercials with a "Jeff" in them?

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