22 Responses

  1. Alison Carver

    I am ashamed to admit, but I have never been to the Burger Inn. I know this sounds unbelievable since I have lived in the area over 30 years, and the Burger Inn has been around much longer than that, but it’s true. And I have no excuse that holds any validity. I guess all that I can say, is that when it comes to mealtime, it just kind of slips my mind. I frequent that stretch of US1 quite often, but when I do, it’s always headed either to or from somewhere specific, and most commonly in a hurry. My husband has many stories of eating there from when he was a child. He grew up on a fishing boat, as his father was a commercial fisherman, and the combination of location, cost, and menu made for an ideal stop off for many fishermen in the area. They would work all night, casting and pulling nets, working up quite an appetite, and after selling their catch to the local fish houses, they would pull their boats up to the shoreline of the river behind the Burger Inn, and make the small trek up the hill to savor a much earned “breakfast”.

    I am thrilled this burger joint is still around, still maintains a highly respectable grade of product, and most of all, has maintained it’s original design and quality of a curb service drive in style. I definitely need to make an effort to experience it for myself.

  2. Daniel MacLeod

    This is a great article bringing the ideology of “the good ol’ times” back to life. What I realized while reading this article was how the movement of architecture followed along with the automobiles during the time period and it continues along the same path today, in my opinion. The advancement of automobiles and architecture go hand in hand because because it is still the American dream to own the big house and have that amazing car that makes people say wow. There will always be that drive in people of the American dream so the movement of architecture and the automobile industry will continue to move together. One thing that has taken a back seat though is the joy of the family vacation and traditions, it is just like the movie Cars where all the cars take the interstate and not the original Route 66. A good reason why options like Route 66 were so popular back in the day is because of the glorious architectural designs that were along side the road and the vibrant colors of burger shops and the neon lights of motels. Really the only reason I can see why people would take these routes is to see these parts of historic Americana. Preserving buildings like The Burger Inn are vital in keeping the memory of the days of no worries about health or the concerns that many of us face in today’s world. Undoubtedly it is important to live a more healthy lifestyle then what humans are accustomed to, but it is even more important to remember what buildings and history has gotten us here.

  3. Hilary Lassoff

    The history of the Burger Inn is very fun to read about. I have not been to the burger Inn yet, however after reading this post, I will most definitely be making a trip there. The American culture that drove such diners, drive inn’s and dives, such as the Burger Inn, shows us just how much culture can be established throughout certain decades of history. The restoration of the Burger Inn to fit its previous architectural beauty is also something that is worth going to see.

    The fact that American’s were trying to venture out and hit the open road with their families in order to go in search of fun and entertainment speaks to today’s generation in that the paradigm has severely shifted. Now instead of American’s going to look for fun hot spots and restaurants such as the Burger Inn, now American’s today are consumed with technological devices and convenient stores.

    The way that the Burger Inn is set up to attract the intrigued passer-byer to eat great American food; I feel is something that is lost in today’s society. The Burger Inn not only attracts people of Melbourne and those who come from neighboring towns to eat good American food, it is a landmark to the times. The times in which people were able to come together with their families and friends and socialize in a different way then they do now. The interior design of the Burger Inn sounds like it is a great replica of the past. The Burger Inn is definitely one I will be going to try in the future.

  4. Jessica Hook

    It is so amazing to hear that places that were the ideals of Americans are still around and being operated still to this day with the same business values as when they first started. I love hearing about businesses like this because it makes me want to eat there to support them just so I know they will have a chance of being in business even longer so that my kids will be able to enjoy the same traditions as past generations.

    I’m from Wilmington, NC. The communities in this city are great supporters of small businesses. I love to support small businesses because they are the real backbone to the economy, and plus you always are going to be served by some of the friendliest people that will make you want to always come back. There were a few drive-in burger places in Wilmington that were very popular in the 50’s to 60’s. One was called Mil-Jo Drive-in. When they were in their prime it was the place to be. It attracted all sorts of people. “The greasers would park on the left, families and parents would park in front, and the cool people would park on the right,” Susan Wells told Star-News staff writer Si Cantwell in 1996. There were a total of 62 parking spaces and in the peak hours just about every one of them was full. Sometimes there would even be people parking on the main roads and walking just to eat there and get 6 hotdogs for $1.

    There is also a doughnut shop called Britt’s Donut Shop, that has been in business since 1939 and is still in the same location as it began and only has one store. They are located on the Carolina Beach Boardwalk and there is always a line with no less than 10 people at about any given time. The menu consists entirely of glazed doughnuts, coffee, milk and fountain soft drinks, nothing else. They claim and that they make the best doughnuts ever made. I personally think this is true! It is such a pity that they are not open all year around, only from Memorial Day until October.

    I have only lived in the Melbourne area just over three years now and I did not know this place was around. I look forward to having one of those greasy burgers that you described very soon.

  5. Amber Maiwald

    I have never heard of this establishment before, but I defiantly will go there sometime now that I know about it. I really enjoy going to non-commercial eating establishments because of the uniqueness they offer not only in their food, but also in their environment. I have always been fascinated with the 1950s culture. This establishment sounds like it would serve as a time machine that takes people back to that era. There is a restaurant in my town that is the same way. It also has the black and white checker floors and vinyl seat covers. These places are great to meet friends for lunch and to just relax and have a good time. The atmosphere of the establishment allows for this to happen.
    I found it interesting that the production of motels, drive in movie theaters, and establishments like this were results from the booming auto industry. When the song about Route 66 was mentioned, I couldn’t help but think about the Disney-Pixar movie Cars. In the movie, the town of Radiator Springs was a “hoping” town in the 1950s. As the years went by, a new interstate was constructed that bypassed the town. Because of this, no one stopped at the town. As result, the town began to deteriorate. If someone had taken the imitative, like the owner of Burger Inn, to restore the town and to advertise that the town was historic, maybe the town of Radiator Springs wouldn’t have fallen off of the map.

  6. David Scott

    I have seen Burger Inn before while driving on US-1. I thought it was out of business until I remember seeing a car parked around the side. Most of the architecture along US-1 that are still standing always appeased me because of how much that place must have “mattered” years ago. I can imagine that restaurants such as Burger Inn were very popular in the 1950s because of the way it connected with the whole concept of America being modernized with various innovations in many cultural categories. If they created the automobile, then why not come up with a place for the automobile to be worth to be driven to. This is where the idea of drive-in movie theaters, motels and a roller skating restaurants became popular with most still supported to this day.
    Just like Burger Inn, restaurants that may be more modernized today or restored, had the same experience in the 1950s such as Steak ‘n Shake and Sonic (Sonic Drive-In around those times). They all posed the same visual appearance and gave off the same friendly interactive customer service. Based on a comparison of images of the restaurants 55 to 6o years ago and other culturally inviting places of entertainment, they all shared similar architectural features and procured the same concept to people passing by. This includes putting up big signs that could be read from a good distance away whether it says, “Restaurant Name” Drive In or Drive In Theater. The point was to catch the attention of people so that instead of driving around for vacation or experience-driven entertainment and wasting gas, they could create memories by stopping by places spend their money.

    Due to all the support places like Burger Inn has received over so many years, it is not surprising that most restaurants and similar places are still running strong to this day. As Americans, we like to experience our culture even if it is in a more modern setting. I will be visiting Burger Inn soon to see what it is like.

  7. Abdulaziz AlQahtani

    To be honest, I’ve never been to this place, and its a shamed how I never got the chance to know this place and try it out. From what I read and understand is that this place has a lot of history on it. Like the way how it was build in around in the 1800’s and how its still stands today. The location it self is unique too, how its near the boats and how fisherman can go there between their shifts or after catching fish for the night, it should be a good place to rest and enjoy a nice meal. I my self sometimes head out for fishing from time to time on a boat ride and never heard of this place and its a shame. Burger Inn stands as a symbol not only for its remarkable history behind it, but how the architect and how the building was manufactured and build still stands today. NOT only that, but how its business didn’t shut down. Its also amazing how place can run it business for that long after what america been through in the 1900’s such as black friday and how a lot of business shut down, its amazing that this place didn’t. I think its ashamed that Melbourne city don’t take this place as a symbol due to the fact its been here in Melbourne for such a long time.

  8. Brandon Bourne

    Lesa,

    This is great! What are the chances someone else has noticed this small place on the side of the road. 6 days a week I drive on US 1 while going to work and I must say I never ever noticed this place until this one day that I was carpooling with my friend and he said. “You know what? One day we should go to this place” and he pointed at the building and I saw the small sign that said burger in. While I have never actually stopped yet to go in I have not had a day yet since I was shown the small building that it has not stood out to me. Even though it is. Very small in its surroundings it stands out to me now. It also reminds me somewhat of mustards last stand that you can find in historic downtown Melbourne just a little bit more family friendly seeing how it gives off a more open feel. I had no clue that this building has been around for that long but it makes me want to go there that much more. I’ll make sure to go and let you know about my experience sometime.

    Brandon

  9. Giovana Soares

    There’s nothing better than remembering good times, and so, if the midcentury modern style emphasizes good times, this style is pure art and fun. I actually never knew its roots, and it’s very satisfying to know that entertainment was what drove its rise. It’s also nice to know that even after the World War II people were still enjoying drive-in movie theaters and roller skating burger joints.
    The picture of The Burger Inn reminds me of time with friends, and I must agree with you that it is visually energetic – I couldn’t have said it better! It’s interesting to see how automobiles were so influential that they were able to create a whole new and distinct movement – like the one we saw during class, in Miami, South Beach. Not only this style was able to capture visuals from automobiles, but it also captures the materials used in the industry. How cool it that? I love the high gloss and the wood and of course the combination between very straight lines and very round edges.
    What I also like a lot about midcentury modern architecture is its use of different materials, such as a lot of wood, but balancing it out with metal. Neons, lights in general, many different colors… Little aspects like these that sometimes are easily overlooked make the difference. And that’s not to talk about the resistance and quality of the materials used. They would last a lifetime!
    I actually watch a lot of HGTV and I have seen a few of David Broomstad’s room inspired by midcentury modern style. He interprets it very well. Here’s a blog that talks about it: http://www.themidwestmomma.com/2011_11_01_archive.html Hope you enjoy it!

  10. Loriann DeMello

    It’s so funny that I chose to read this article this week, because for the past few days my room mates and I have been trying to find a place to get a really good burger around here. A class mate told us to try Apollo Diner near the old Melbourne mall, and someone took us to The Burger Place downtown, but this place looks worth trying!

    I normally hate this style of architecture to be honest, but when it comes to burger joints, places like this usually have the best burgers. Not only that, but reading about the history of what was going on during this time and how American’s views and interests were changing makes the place even more appealing. Sometimes we forget how different things were in society not even 60 years ago. If American’s were just then starting to enjoy the idea of a vacation, we have come a long way! My fiancé and I are talking about going to California for a week just to go, and now I keep thinking about how different that thought would be if we were in 1950. Maybe we will have to stop by this place on the way!

    It is a very cute little place with a lot of history and appeal. This will definitely be a place to add to the list of places to try in Melbourne. I hope my room mates and I like their food as much as I like the story behind this cool little place.

  11. ahmed almazrouei

    I do really thing that this place is one of the best place to visit. Especially, if you are living near it but I am not surprised because I didn’t went there before. Because I really believe that the historic place, which surrounded by people and visitors for long time is not the great place for me to visit. For example, I don’t like going to museum even though it have many valuable thing to see because the revolution which been made for this place took the most important things which I want see. Such as, the old environment where people use to live there and how was their culture look like. I always prefer to see and discover historical things, which is not crowded by visitors. Because I really could a good chance to discover things that nobody seen before me. Always, I like to go different to have a better chance looking around the place without any security, Even when I go in a tour for any place I like to discover it by my self, Better than hearing it from a guide man or man of my friends who live in that city or place. This cause some problems but it is more interesting for me. I was I surprised when one of my friends asked If I just eat seafood because I am near the beach and live in Florida. I surprised him when I told him that I don’t like seafood and American foods. My favorite style of food is Italian food

  12. Joseph Hemler

    I chose this post world war 2 drive in fast food place because I have passed by it many times and never thought twice about the history behind it. This was a new style of dining when the building was constructed back in 1951. This style fast food restraint is not used anymore due to the addition of a drive through to most eateries. This building was also definitely constructed with a different style automobile in mind. This building was also a very modern looking design for its time frame. The chrome finishing and bright colors mimic the style of cars that were popular back in the 1950’s. The checker floors and decorations are also a very popular style back when this building was originally used for fast food.
    I am happy to see that someone kept this mid 20th century fast food restaurant open for business. It is a very nice looking building and adds a lot of needed character to US 1. I especially like all of the vertical and horizontal red lines on a white background. This goes very nicely with the checkerboard theme on the interior. The awning for people to sit outside and dine is also something that was more popular back in the 1950s. Most people wanted to park and get out of their car to eat, not go inside and sit in an air conditioned building. This fast food place has an awesome design and I will most likely stop by for a burger sometime!

  13. Veronica Tarducci

    I have passed this place countless times over the years, but have never actually stopped in. It is now on my top things to do with my kids this summer. Although I am a child of the eighties, this is exactly the types of place that entices nostalgic feelings from me. I can remember moving to Palm Bay, FL in ’86 at the age of 5, and one of the first places that we visited as a family was Del’s Freez which is very close in proximity to The Burger Inn. My Grandparents also lived nearby in Sebastian, so I can recollect numerous visits taking the scenic route (US1) where we would make a pit stop to enjoy the free samples of orange juice and buy fresh jellies from Hale’s Groves and look at the old homes and boat houses as we drove past. Our trips home almost always ended with a trip to Del’s for some ice cream. These were moments that I didn’t come to truly appreciate until I had children of my own, but none the less, it is obvious that the mid-century modern designs of buildings like Del’s Freez will forever serve as a backdrop into my earliest memories. Although previously I would hardly have thought of these as historical structures having just seen them as being old, too simple, and boring the older I got, I now realize the importance of maintaining these establishments as they are an integral part of our history and culture (as well as many of our childhood memories). I think it is great that the owner has restored this establishment in order to keep it alive for both residents and tourists, and I look forward to trying one of their four and a half star burgers with a better appreciation for mid-century modern design, while also making some new memories with my own daughters.

  14. Jennifer Garcia

    I have driven by the Burger Inn a couple of times but have never stopped by. After reading this article about its history and preservation I am impulse to go by and check it out, not only its architecture but its food as well. I am glad someone like Mr. Urezzio owns this burger joint, he is obviously very proud of the history that it has.
    I can see why the post-World War II American would want to spend by going on vacations, drive in restaurants and movies and such. After having quite the scare of their life, living under such agony of lost loved ones, and presidents it must have felt like a relief to finally be out of the war and it was time to celebrate. Maybe they felt they needed to enjoy every minute of life now, they had more appreciation for life and being free and wanted to experience all that the U.S offered to them now.
    Drive- Ins paved a long road for the fast food industry, with the average American living such a fast pace life now in the 20th century. Most Americans can honestly say they go through a drive through at least once a week, that’s a lot more than can say they would walk inside to order food. Not only is it convenient but its fast for the customer and the company. It’s a way for the company to serve more customers at the same time, with the walk in and the drive in which would now be considered the drive thru.

  15. Justin Champion

    Mid Century modern is one of my favorite American architectural styles. Its use of lines and geometry I think is what my favorite part is . The pop of color and unusual shapes is really what keeps the viewer interested in seeing more. The Burger Inn on US1 in Melbourne is one of those landmarks that really shows what the highway use to be. With US 1 being the major highway that connected the north to Miami, many older buildings show what Florida was. The Burger inn was a great drive in Burger joint and I am proud that they have kept the legacy for this long. Many of the buildings of this time period are driven around the automobile and transportation as in the 1950’s we were obsessed with the automobile. Many structures were designed, and built around the car. Here at the Burger Inn Drive in we see the outdoor seating, the concrete table and benches that have withstood the ages. And how the building is close to the road as not to be hidden from sight. The building itself is small but designed for cooking burgers and fries and no frills food. The interior is black and white like the old dinners and the stainless steel coolers and counters mix well with the black and white and red themed building. I love to drive up US1 and see what is left of the America from yesteryear and wonder why we tear down these historic and beautiful buildings.

  16. Jennifer Scites

    Mid-century modern buildings and design are some of my favorites. With the use of bold colors, and especially the multi-functional furniture that this style has to offer, it’s eye catching to see. As a kid, I grew up watching the Brady Bunch, so I remember how retro the houses interiors looked. These days we call it mid-century modern. It is one and the same however, with the use of simple lines, bold colors and to me the clean look it gives. The neighborhood I grew up in here in Palm Bay was full of houses like the pictures listed. I never truly appreciated this style until later in my life. I remember thinking, why would someone put that mint green type color paint on the house, but now I can understand.

    A business trip brought me to appreciate the Eames chair and many others like it. I was ready to purchase an Eames chair after one hour of sitting in it. When your article turned to speaking of The Burger Inn and drive-in movie theaters, my thoughts went to where I was born in West Virginia. To this day they still have drive-in joints and one of them is called Frost Top. It is built with the same concept as The Burger Inn. The workers are always friendly and they deliver your food on roller skates and the tray attaches to your window. I am so glad places like Frost Top and The Burger Inn are still up and functioning so we can appreciate their concept and beauty. Sadly though living in Brevard I have never been to The Burger Inn, but I think after reading the post, I will try it out.

  17. Brittany Loper

    What a vivid description. I drive by this at least 3 or 4 days a week, but it is so close to home, that I always pass it. Although, you described everything so vividly, I feel like I have already been there! Mid-century modern design will always be my favorite for many reasons – the main reason being its character. Mid-century modern design was coming about in a time where we were discovering our architectural independence, so to speak. We were moving away from our British cultural influences and even any other influence we had at the time. Modern design was really the anti-everything else. Industrial design was booming, and we were looking for a design sequence to call our own. Gehry, Sullivan, and Wright are to only name a few of the most influential architects during the time.

    I thought your description of the Route 66 philosophy and getting out there to explore the world was eloquently described. Chevy Chase’s Vacation comes to mind, but really, that is the typical American family wanting to have an adventure and make memories together. The Burger Inn sounds like an amazing place that would take you back in time to the good ole days. It is also interesting to see how the typical Mid-Century burger joint stacks up to the current times. Sonic and Steak and Shake come to mind. While I do enjoy Sonic’s casual dining environment, Steak and Shake tends to give me the willies. I used to frequent there until they changed some interior elements. The incorporation of red walls made me feel like I had to get in and get out .The Burger Inn seems like a family establishment with “good” 😉 food and historical significance. Always enjoy reading your blog, Lesa!

  18. Tiffiny Ruehman

    I have lived in the Melbourne area for almost 30 years and like so many other people who have posted responses to this particular blog, I have driven by it and never stopped in to see what it is like. I actually drove past it twice today. It does catch your eye as you round the corner by Aurora Rd. I would like to try it out some day.
    What I do like most about the architectural style is that it reminds me of
    the good old days when we did have drive-in movies and real down-home places like the Burger Inn. We have gotten so fast-paced and name brand in our current culture that we have lost sight of how important these places were to the growth and entertainment of the past. It was a much simpler and exciting time in our history.
    I really like your description of the color choices used for the Burger Inn. It really does remind me of ketchup and mustard. It is also hard to drive by and not notice it. I also like the fact that the owner wants to keep it original and has stories to tell about it. This makes a difference to me because he is bonding with his customers and community. I wish more people felt the same way about it. I believe they have done an excellent job of preserving this quant piece of history. I would definitely be excited to maybe do an Interior Design Club event there to show our appreciation and support to this excellent piece of midcentury modern design. Burgers and fries anyone?

  19. Noelle Garrison

    This place looks so cool! I’ve always loved the fifties diner themes, and it’s even better that it’s always looked like this. It’s awesome that they kept the original things. I’d love to go there sometime and just look at all the things they have on the walls. Then I’d definitely stuff my face with some greasy food! Sometimes you just crave a burger and fries and this looks like an amazing place to get one. Your posts are so awesome! There’s a whole bunch of places I want to visit now. This class is showing me a lot of places that are amazing as well.

  20. Brad Hoe

    Unlike many of my peers I have had the pleasure of visiting The Burger Inn. It was a great experience that took me back to a time when US 1 was the main interstate from north to south and fast food chains did not exist. The Burger Inn feels like it has been frozen in time. It is great to see places like this still around today since many of the “architectural innovations” of this time period are being forgotten about. While drive in movie theaters and motels are being demolished to make way for new hotels and IMAX theaters, drive-up burger joints like The Burger Inn are still going strong and drawing a crowd. I was pleasantly surprised to find that The Burger Inn has stayed true to its roots and is not trying to “get with the times” by having a fancy menu or seating area. The tables and benches are concrete and the menu consists of burgers, fries and Coke. You can tell that Al Urezzio took great care in restoring this piece of Americana.
    I am a big fan of mid-century modern design. The simplicity and minimalistic approach to design is what I like most about the mid-century modern period. For instance, a chair did not have to be made from pieces of wood but could be molded from one piece of plastic or fiberglass. It is great to see that so many people appreciate mid-century modern design and architecture and wish to see it preserved for future generations to enjoy.

  21. Tanya Flynn

    I drive past this restaurant all the time and I think, “one day I’m going to stop there and eat. I bet they have really good burgers.” And yet I haven’t made it yet. I think when I see a burger joint like this, still standing and in full operation, it automatically makes me think they are going to have great burgers, especially when they take so much pride in the way the building is kept in its original form, that they must take pride in a delicious mouth watering burger and the perfect fries, with Lawry’s seasoning salt, of course. And that comes from this burger stand across from my high school in California, that looks almost identical to this place, it had the best fries ever and I still use Lawry’s seasoning salt on my fries. It is amazing how the mind works and associates the way a building looks with how good a burger might be, or how awesome the fries would be, not to mention the shakes or root beer floats that conjure up in my head. The design of the building seems to take you back to a different era, simpler times, when there was no cell phones, computers and mass amounts of people to distract you from just living. Bob’s Big Boy was definitely the icon of the day that immediately followed these quaint drive-ins, still almost same design just beefed up, so to speak. Bigger restaurants, bigger glass windows, shinier chrome everything, and a big giant boy with a big giant burger, now that is nostalgia.

  22. Chelsea Patrick

    I’ve passed by this gem a thousand times, but unfortunately have never stopped into grab a bite. Trust me, a good 50’s burger joint is really the only place I will ever eagerly order a hamburger. I have been to a similar 1950’s burger joint in Titusville, called Moonlight Drive-In. I’ve been going there for years now, and the experience is what makes me drive 20 minutes for sweet tea and a turkey sub.
    Once you pull in, and roll your window down, a waitress with a coin holder attached to her belt smiles and makes her way over to take your order. When the food arrives, she politely places a tray onto your window. The meal is enjoyed from the confines of your vehicle, a delicious (and extremely inexpensive) meal without ever having to get out of the car. Every time I visit this restaurant, it takes me back to a time I never knew but have only heard of in stories. It seems quite picturesque. I imagine this is also the feeling people get from dining at the Burger Inn. I will have to make it a destination next time I’m in the area.

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