Charles Krebs became the first franchisee for the Burger King chain (BK #5) in South Florida in 1957. Because of their tumultuous relationship, Burger King would not allow Mr. Krebs to open a second Burger King. So he did the next best thing. He created his own chain called Burger Castle. The first location would open in Hialeah, Florida, on July 10, 1964.
The name Burger Castle is thought to be a merging of Burger King and Royal Castle, the two most popular burger chains in Miami at the time.
The layout of the restaurant was exactly like a Burger King of that era. The outside featured a giant twenty-one-foot sign in the shape of a king-type character with a crown on his head holding a shake in one hand and a hamburger in the other.
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 “Flavor-Broiled” Giant Burger (similar to Burger King’s Whopper, which was topped with tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, ketchup, and mayo), a regular burger, fries, shakes, and soft drinks.
Soup of the day with a sandwich option was added later on.
CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP & LOGO
On September 18, 1968, Krebs’ neighbor and friend, W.J. Fowler purchased Burger Castle from him. W.J. Fowler added a commissary for production, and after a lawsuit by Burger King, changed the logo from the king to a knight with a shield. New additions to the menu were fried chicken, a roast beef sandwich, and a filet of fish sandwich.
Burger Castle had locations in Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. Twenty restaurants alone were in South Florida, which makes sense since their headquarters were located in Miami, Florida.
In the early 1970s, there was a push to expand Burger Castle into California, but it did not come to pass. By the middle of the 1970s, most of their restaurants were gone. The only remnant left of Burger Castle is the bottom half of the twenty-one-foot sign, still up at their old location in Perrine, Florida.
BURGER CASTLE LOCATIONS
All known Burger Castle locations are listed below.
|BURGER CASTLE HEADQUARTERS||1035 NE 125th St North Miami, FL 33161|
|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|
|FLORIDA||350 E. State Road 436 Casselberry, FL 32707|
|2350 Douglas Rd Coral Gables, FL 33134|
|17500 S. Federal Highway Cutler Bay, FL 33157|
|Davie Blvd (SW 12th St) and State Rd. 7 33317|
|1268 SW 40th Avenue Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33315|
|345 East 49th Street Hialeah, FL 33013|
|444 Hialeah Drive Hialeah, FL 33010|
|6520 Hollywood Blvd Hollywood, FL 33024|
|280 NE 8th Street Homestead, FL 33030|
|2275 SW 87th Avenue Miami, FL 33155|
|2395 NW 7th Street Miami, FL 33125|
|5780 NW 7th Avenue Miami, FL 33127|
|6855 SW 57th Avenue Miami, FL 33143|
|8865 S. Dixie Highway Miami, FL 33156|
|9045 SW 107th Avenue Miami, FL 33176|
|10541 SW 40th Street Miami, FL 33165|
|13495 NW 7th Avenue Miami, FL 33168|
|6060 Miramar Parkway Miramar, FL 33023|
|18400 NW 27th Avenue Opa-Locka, FL 33056|
|2292 N. Federal Hwy Pompano Beach, FL 33062|
|202 South Dale Mabry Tampa, FL 33609|
|ILLINOIS||8660 Golf Road Des Plaines, IL 60714|
|INDIANA||6400 Melton Rd Gary, IN 46403|
|MARYLAND||Rt 40 West nr. Ellicott City, MD|
|MASSACHUSETTS||Rte. 9 (Opposite State Police College) Framingham, Massachusetts|
|597 Lincoln St. Worcester, Massachusetts|
|325 West Boylston St. Worcester, Massachusetts|
|125 Squire Road Revere, Massachusetts|
|NEW JERSEY||Route 46|
|NORTH CAROLINA||Highway 70 East Black Mountain, NC 28711|
|RHODE ISLAND||1599 Post Rd Warwick, Rhode Island|
|SOUTH CAROLINA||208 N Main St, Mauldin, SC 29662|
|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 California, and Louisiana.
BURGER MUSEUM COLLECTION
In my personal collection of burger artifacts, I own one of only a handful of clocks that hung in the restaurants. I also have a full set of Burger Castle restaurant blueprints, an employee patch, a few postcards, and a coupon.