Cuban Guys in Hialeah

Burger Museum History

Once Upon A Time, There Was A Burger Castle

Burger Castle Postcard
Burger Castle Postcard by Fleer

Burger Castle “Home of the Giantburger” was founded by Charles Edwards Krebs (2/13/1919 – 1/2/2009) in 1964 at 444 Hialeah Drive. Charles became the first franchisee for the Burger King chain in South Florida (1957). Burger King would not allow Mr. Krebs the opportunity to open a 2nd Burger King due to their tumultuous relationship.

He turned around and created the Burger Castle chain while at the same time still owning Burger King #5 (7975 NW 27th Avenue Miami, FL 33147). Stanley Tashman designed the layout of the kitchen and dining area. The creator of the Giant outside of the Burger Castle is still unknown.

The menu consisted of the Giant Burger (similar to Burger King’s Whopper which was topped with Tomatoes, Lettuce, Pickles, Ketchup and/or Mayo), regular Burger, Fried Chicken, Roast Beef Sandwich, Filet of Fish Sandwich, Fries, Shakes and Soft Drinks. A soup of the day with a sandwich option was added later on.

All of the Burgers were “Flavor-Broiled”.

On September 18th, 1968 W.J. Fowler (neighbor and friend of Charles Krebs) purchased Burger Castle from him.

W.J. Fowler added a commissary for production and the logo with the giant was changed to that of the shield (which you can see in the ads below) after a lawsuit by Burger King.

Miami News Ad - October 8th, 1968
Miami News Ad – October 8th, 1968
Miami News Ad - April 6th, 1971
Miami News Ad – April 6th, 1971
Miami News Ad - April 29th, 1971
Miami News Ad – April 29th, 1971

Confirmed Burger Castle Locations:

All known Burger Castle locations are listed below, unfortunately, they are all long gone.

Burger Castle Headquarters was located at 1035 NE 125th St North Miami, FL 33161.

Central Florida:

350 E. State Road 436 Casselberry, FL 32707

202 South Dale Mabry Tampa, FL 33609

Connecticut:

501 West Middle Turnpike Manchester, CT 06040

132 New Britain Avenue Plainville, CT 06062

920 Queen Street Southington, CT 06489

1949 Sila Deane Hwy Rocky Hill, CT 06067

Illinois:

8660 Golf Road Des Plaines, IL 60714

Indiana:

6400 Melton Rd Gary, IN 46403

Maryland:

Rt 40 West nr. Ellicott City, MD

North Carolina:

Highway 70 East Black Mountain, NC 28711

South Carolina:

208 N Main St, Mauldin, SC 29662

South Florida:

Hialeah Drive Store: 444 Hialeah Drive Hialeah, FL 33010

7th Avenue Store: 5780 NW 7th Avenue Miami, FL 33127

87th Avenue Store: 2275 SW 87th Avenue Miami, FL 33155

7th Street Store: 2395 NW 7th Street Miami, FL 33125

49th Street Store: 345 East 49th Street Hialeah, FL 33013

Bird Road Store: 10541 SW 40th Street Miami, FL 33165

Gables Store: 2350 Douglas Rd Coral Gables, FL 33134

Homestead: 280 N.E. 8th Street Homestead, FL 33030

Kendall: 9045 SW 107th Avenue Miami, FL 33176

Carrol City: 18400 NW 27th Avenue Opa-Locka, FL 33056

Kendall Restaurant: 8865 S. Dixie Highway Miami, FL 33156

South Miami Store: 6855 SW 57th Avenue Miami, FL 33143

Partial Burger Castle Sign still at old Perrine Location, picture courtesy of Steve Simon
Partial Burger Castle Sign still at old Perrine Location, picture courtesy of Steve Simon

Perrine Store: 17500 S. Federal Highway Cutler Bay, FL 33157

135th Street Store: 13495 NW 7th Avenue Miami, FL 33168

Pembroke Pines: 6520 Hollywood Blvd Hollywood, FL 33024

Miramar Store: 6060 Miramar Parkway Miramar, FL 33023

40th Avenue Store: 1268 SW 40th Avenue Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33315

Davie: Davie Blvd (SW 12th St) and State Rd. 7 33317

Pompano Store: 2292 N. Federal Hwy Pompano Beach, FL 33062

Wisconsin:

175 Layton Avenue Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53207

5801 S. 27th Street Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53221

11011 National Avenue Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53227

Other unconfirmed states that had Burger Castle were Louisiana and Maryland.

About the author

Burger Beast

Eat. Write. Read. Repeat.

15 Comments

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  • Good article, thank you. We had a Burger Castle on S, 109th and W. National Avenue in West Allis, Wisconsin. I could not remember the name of the chain, but when I saw the picture at the top of the article, no one could mistake that sign of the giant. Thanks much.

  • My father owned the company and was the Chairman of the Board and CEO, after having sold his insurance company. Although it seems that a fast food chain couldn’t really fail back then, somehow it did, and it drew him into personal bankruptcy (from which he never recovered). I’ve been trying to find out more about the company, since my father refused to discuss it, and passed away when I was in college. I’d really appreciate anyone sharing any info that they have on the company, or any sites I can use to make more progress!

    • My Dad & two partners formed the company in Miami when I was a kid. It was a franchise operation & I recall there where stores in Maryland too. They must have sold it to your Dad.

      • Hey Doug – was Charlie Krebs one of the partners? (He lived four houses away from us, and I think maybe he was involved as well?). Any info is greatly appreciated!

        Thanks.

        Bill Fowler

        • Hi,
          I was a kid during that period so my knowledge is limited. From what I recall my Dad (an Airline Pilot) was one of 3 partners who was involved in the early stages of the business. He was involved in Real Estate when not flying & his function was to locate new locations. When the company had grown to 15 or so the other partners said he either needed to come aboard full-time or sell his stake. He sold. The names that I recall are Charlie Krebs & Frank Erwin but I can’t say for sure what they had to do with any of it. I remember visiting stores & the main office. Doug

          Douglas L. Turk
          Director of Flight Operations
          Life Lion Air Medical Service
          Office: (717) 531-8760
          Cell: (717) 215-3147

          • Thanks Doug for your input. As I’m getting filled in a little bit more, I think my father bought the company from Charlie Krebs (and who ever the other shareholders were at the time) after they had built it to a certain size (perhaps not long after your father sold his stake). Of course, it was a sore subject with my father so I never really heard what happened that took it down……. (recession?, poor planning?, law suits with Burger King?). Still curious as to what happened. Please feel free to add any insight or email me at bfowler1000 at gmail.

          • Haven’t a clue as to why the chain went under as my Dad moved on to another venture. He used the proceeds as a down payment on a piece of commercial property on US1 in Kendall. That venture almost sunk him (us) but he was able to sell it at the last second. Used the proceeds from that sale to build a vacation house & got out of the “business world” entirely. I spoke with my brother (who is older) & he confirmed the 3 original owner where Charlie Krebs, Frank Erwin & my Dad -James Turk. Charlie & Frank bought out my Dad & then sold the whole thing to someone who must’ve been your Dad.

          • Well, thanks for helping me piece things together. Charlie Krebs’ son Gary is a few years older than me, but we lived just four houses away. I’m going to try and get a hold of him. Glad your dad dodged the bullet.

    • My late father (Harvey Brant) and his business partner, Art Budwig, owned the BC on SW 87th Ave (Galloway Rd) at Coral Way. They were the original owners, around 1963, and sold it a few years later, doing owner finance for the buyers. A couple years later, the new owners quit making loan payments so we took over the store and ran it for a couple more years before selling it again. This time, the new owners tore it down and put a Burger King in its place.

      • Hey Jeffrey – I’m guessing your father and his business partner were owners with the original founders, which included Charlie Krebs. If you know what actually happened to lead to the company’s ultimate demise, I’d love to hear your thoughts…… (just curious, since it was a taboo subject with my father).

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