Gabe’s Burgers was my favorite burger joint growing up. I loved Rudy’s, but it was Gabe’s that had my meat-loving heart.
Gabe’s was an acronym for Great American Burger Emporium, but most folks (myself included) had no idea. The restaurant set-up was similar to Checkers/Rally’s, with outdoor seating via tables covered by umbrellas and drive-thrus on either side of the building.
The burger, as best I can remember, was char-grilled, and the fries were fresh cut with some seasoned salt on them. If I were a betting man, I’d say Lawry’s.
GABE’S Burger Info
Here’s all the info I have about the company, and to this day, I have never been able to track down a picture of any of the restaurant locations.
On April 19th, 1985, DRIVE THRU BURGER CORP filed incorporation paperwork. According to the Official Gazette of the United States Patent and Trademark, the first use of the Gabe’s Burgers logo was on October 20th, 1985.
I’m going to go ahead and assume this was Gabe’s opening day. The first two locations were the drive-thru on LeJeune and the one I frequented in Westchester.
I remember sitting in the front passenger seat while my dad placed our order and picked up the grub. On a few occasions, I was distracted and would be watching whatever was going on at the China Maid restaurant next door.
At some point in early 1990, Gabe’s Burgers owned a food truck that regularly parked at Southwest High School during lunchtime. The truck sold hamburgers, french fries, and shakes.
The third restaurant opened in late 1987 or early 1988. By May 1991, it had become Hot ‘n Now, which also didn’t fare well in South Florida.
In May 1990, Gabe’s would open in Hialeah Gardens. The official grand opening wouldn’t happen until noon on Saturday, June 16th, 1990.
The celebration included a live Latin band performing, free popcorn, coupons, and two bicycle raffles. The menu at this location featured hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, french fries, and frozen yogurt.
In other words, pretty much what all of the other locations sold.
The LeJeune location was the last Gabe’s open by the summer of 1993. An ad in the newspaper on December 6th, 1993, mentioned that all contents of the LeJeune location would be sold.
I ate there in August of that year, unaware that it would be the last time I would enjoy a meal from the Great American Burger Emporium.
GABE’S Burgers Locations
|Flagami||835 NW 42nd Avenue||Latin Cafe 2000|
|Hialeah Gardens||7901 NW 103rd Street||Mater Academy|
|Miramar||3700 S State Road 7||Captain Max|
|Westchester||9290 Bird Road||First Bank Florida|
Weird GABE’S Burgers Fact
I recently discovered that a copycat, Gabe’s Burgers existed in Managua.
During an October 1991 New Times article, GABE’s owner Lewis Goodman mentioned their trademark not carrying much weight in Nicaragua. I wonder how authentic the food was compared to the Miami version.
Got any memories of GABE’s, I’d love to hear about them.