I reached out through Facebook to the Druther’s (101 N Columbia Avenue) in Campbellsville, Kentucky, as soon as I found out about its existence. Until then, I thought all the restaurants had shut down.
Druther’s started as Burger Queen in Winter Haven, Florida. The first location opened in 1956. By 1981 they had changed their name to Druther’s (a play on the word druthers) to try and change the common belief that they only sold burgers. They were also well known for their fried chicken.
After speaking to the owner Steve McCarty, he told me his parents opened this location as Burger Queen #18 back in 1970. It was cool that Steve is doing his part to preserve burger history.
My book All About The Burger includes the histories of Druther’s and its predecessor Burger Queen. So, it was a no-brainer to have a book signing there, assuming that Steve would have me.
Druther’s Meal Before the Book Signing
Lucky for me, he was all about it. Before the signing commenced, we enjoyed a meal.
My wife Marcela ate biscuits & sausage gravy with some country ham and hash browns. We’re still talking about the deliciousness of the country ham as you read this.
It was tough to pick which burger I preferred between the Royal Burger (Double Decker with lettuce, tartar sauce & cheese) and the Quarter Deluxe (Quarter pound cheeseburger with mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickles & onion), so I won’t.
You need to bring someone with you so you can try both. The regular burger is a pretty standard-size patty. I sampled aka shared the double with cheese.
It’s fresh meat, folks, not the frozen pucks that pass for burgers nowadays. It was great and reminded me of what the Whataburger chain in Texas serves in look, taste, and texture.
It’s a historical spot with great food; what other reason do you need to stop here?
Burger Beast Book Signing
The book signing was a blast. I was happy to finally meet Brian Easley, Vice President of Druther’s Systems (which co-owns several Dairy Queen locations in Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia).
He was integral in helping me get all the historical facts for Burger Queen and Druther’s correct for my book. While on that topic, please get in touch with Brian if you have any stories, old pics, or memorabilia of Burger Queen or Druther’s that you’d like to share.
He is currently working on a coffee table book about their history.
One last shoutout to my bud Jody High of High’s Trip & Roadside Facebook page, who drove from Durham, North Carolina, to Druther’s for the book signing. It was great seeing him again.