very kindly sent us the photo of the Original Kirk's! Yay! Thank you,
Kirk's! Hey, is that Sunny Bailey's VW over there? (click
photo to enlarge it)
We wish we had
some photos of Los Altos High School students eating their burgers at
Kirk's after dances -- standing in the rustic building in their fancy
clothes, just chowing down after a night of rock n' roll and
slow-dancing in the LAHS gym.
The following is
from the Kirk's
AFTER WORLD WAR II, Bill Sincere and
his wife, “Kirk”
relocated to California from New York. Bill had spent most of his life
in retail, but wanted to try something new while enjoying the
California climate. He considered sales but kept thinking about how
restaurants in New York prepared burgers and hot dogs. They cooked them
one at a time over charcoal, let customers add their own toppings, and
served them with potato chips and great milkshakes. The basic idea was
good meat served without fanfare. The only problem was that during
severe New York weather, many businesses closed for several months.
Maybe in California.
Bill searched everywhere in
couldn’t find anyone doing burgers this way. Just as he was about to
give up and take a sales job at Macy’s, his mother gave him a small
loan and encouraged his entrepreneurship. The rest is history. Bill
rented land on El Camino Real in Palo Alto, built a small building,
found a butcher who would grind his steak, and opened the first Kirk’s
Steakburgers in 1948.
Word quickly got out about Kirk’s
First came the Stanford students, then the developers, and then the
early electronic wizards (Noyce, Moore, Hewlett, Packard, Varian
brothers, Watkins and Johnson, etc.). Everyone wanted a Kirk’s
Steakburger. Long lines snaked along El Camino, turnover was fast, and
everyone enjoyed chatting with Bill as he flipped burgers better than
Today Kirk’s has four locations, has
menu to include their signature French fries, garlic onions strings,
and over 20 specialty steakburgers. And they still use the same butcher
to prepare the now famous Kirk’s Steakburgers. And if that’s not enough
tradition, there have been several second and third generation
employees, which makes sense, since Kirk’s has many second and third
generation customers. Do you remember your first Kirk’s Steakburger?
* * * * * * *
its 60th Anniversary in
2008. The original (rather rustic, we might even say "funky")
location is gone, but there are now four locations. http://www.kirks-steakburgers.com/
I, for one, am going to make sure I get a Kirk's Steakburger when I
attend our reunion in September 2010. Yum! My mouth is
watering right now.