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Goodbye Burger King

Original post made by Big Har, Midtown, on May 16, 2011

I knew Sears at San Antonio was closing, and I had heard that some of other other stores would close as well, but I didn't know it would be this soon. I drove by last night, and was shocked to see the Burger King empty and the sign taken down. I never had a chance to say goodbye.

That Burger King was way more special then it looked. They had these really nice 49ers murals that celebrated the team through the decades, and they had the coolest display case with Burger King Kids Meal toys and promotions from the last 20 years. Remember "Where's Herb?"

The managers and employees did a good job - orders were right, the place was clean (though of course it was dated looking, which was part of the charm). They always had crowns set out for the kids. I also think that some of the employees were disabled (and terrific) people. I really hope they all found other jobs.

If you worked there and you read this, please know that there were people out there that appreciated the hard work you did.

Comments (5)

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Posted by Bummer
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 16, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Yeah, I went there yesterday to fetch a Whopper and found it closed too. I thought the customers there were a bit dicey and the decor was outdated. I hope they find a location nearby. A stand-alone with drive-through would be nice.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 17, 2011 at 7:22 am

Haven't been there recently, but when our kids were small we went there regularly. Lots of happy memories.

The thing we liked about it is that it had character and was not a carbon copy of all the other fast food restaurants around.

Thanks for serving us well.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 17, 2011 at 9:52 pm

FYI, the owner of that Burger King was a wonderful man. His name is Len Rohde and he was a former 49er (hence the decor) & teacher. He did a great job hiring local youth, many of them from low income families who counted on the money. He was flexible with their hours, understanding of school demands and activities. I know this because one of my relatives, a school teacher at an alternative high school, used to work with him to help get students jobs. Here's his bio:

Web Link

In my youth I would only go to that Burger King out of loyalty to him, a man I never met, but who served as a reminder that kindness & generosity are more important than athletic prowess, even if they don't make you famous.

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Posted by Sharon
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 21, 2011 at 10:58 am

I remember when I first went there, I thought the place would be much smaller. I thought there was a mirror in the middle of the place. I couldn't believe a Burger King could be that long!

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Posted by CrunchyCookie
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jun 29, 2011 at 4:58 am

Likewise, I noticed on my 4 AM drive-by this morning that the Jack In The Box at the corner of Ventura just bit the dust. Meaning the only remaining 24-hour food place in Palo Alto (besides Happy Donuts) is the other Jack near Stanford -- the only fast food joint still standing besides the adjacent McDonald's.

So with a dead KFC, dead Burger King (technically MV but whatever), and dead JITB on our hands, why does fast food never survive here? Cuz everyone can afford real food? General health nut-ism? Leases/taxes too high?

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