Who remembers the fast food chain Burger Chef? A few years ago, I passed through Laurel and saw a relatively intact Drive-In that was being used as a coin laundry it had a distinct look, one that I couldn’t place until I saw a similar building in Gulfport when it clicked with me. The Laurel and the Gulfport buildings both shared overhanging eaves and white enamel panels with large orange diamonds. The buildings were once part of a national fast food chain, Burger Chef.
I’m familiar with three different locations all in the southern part of the state. In addition to Laurel I know there were locations in Gulfport and Biloxi. While Burger Chef was started in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1954, the Gulfport Burger Chef was the first to open of the three I’m familiar with, announcing $0.15 hamburgers in 1962. Laurel’s location opened in 1963 and Biloxi opened in 1964. I cannot tell you how much of my business the Biloxi location would get if they were still around! Unfortunately, the Biloxi location right at the intersection of Porter Avenue and Judge Sekul Drive was demolished a while back.
Per the Wikipedia entry for Burger Chef, the chain had 1050 locations nationally and in Canada at its peak. I’ve learned there were Burger Chef locations in Hattiesburg (at the intersection of Hardy and Highway 49), Greenville (1939 East Highway 82) and one in Vicksburg (on Clay Street near Baldwin Ferry Road). However, all these locations have been demolished. Surely there was one in Jackson, perhaps other places across Mississippi. Do you remember eating at a Burger Chef?
More about roadside Mississippi . . .