ARDMORE, Okla. (KFOR) — Breakfast to lunch, 6 days a week, customers come in steady, and they come in hungry, through a glass door, to grab a seat at the long counter that’s been here longer than most of them have been alive.
“It’s very historic to Ardmore,” says new owner Elyssa White. “Customers come in here. Then bring their kids and grandkids in here. It’s really fun.”
White and her brother Braeden Griffin are the latest generation of ownership that stretches back, like melted cheese, to Earnest and Lillian Brown who opened the Hamburger Inn in 1938.
Jimmy Dale and Daline Brown owned it for a time, and Sandy Brooks owned it for a while too.
Each added slightly to a menu that starts and ends with the fried onion burger sizzling on a grill.
“That’s what it was known for and is still known for,” says Breaden. “Everybody that comes here has come here long enough to know what it’s supposed to taste like and what it’s supposed to look like.”
A famous fry cook named Chock Thompson came up with one menu item called ‘The Educated Burger’.
‘The Lucy’ came along a little later, as well as ‘The Pregnant Lucy’, a burger served with bacon, jalapenos, peanut butter and strawberry jam.
“You can’t change a place like this,” Braeden continues.
Elyssa worked as a waitress for the previous owners.
When they shut down the Inn September of 2021 she joined a line of former employees who’ve taken over through the years.
She and Braeden put on a fresh coat of paint, and cleaned the floors, but they didn’t dare change the menu.
Too many people had already memorized it.
“I know what they’re having as soon as they walk in the door,” chuckles Elyssa. “They don’t even have to talk to me if they don’t want to.”
This latest version of the Hamburger Inn opened again in early February, 2022.
Brother and sister had long since learned to work together.
They’re still happy to report that finding room at the Inn is still the biggest challenge, as it has always been, when the fried onions hit the grill.
The Hamburger in is located on North Washington in downtown Ardmore.
They’re open Tuesday through Saturday 7AM to 3PM
For more information go to their Facebook page here.
Great State is sponsored by WEOKIE Credit Union