DISCOVERED–THE OLDEST RESTAURANT IN SCHAUMBURG TOWNSHIP–AT LEAST IT WAS…

For a while now the oldest, operating restaurant in Schaumburg Township had been staring at me every day.  It just never occurred to me that a chain restaurant could be the oldest, although I should have known given its location.  It was part of Hoffman Plaza, our first suburban strip mall at the intersection of Higgins, Golf and Roselle.  It was Burger King, home of the Whopper.  And now it’s gone.Burger King

Surprisingly,  the restaurant began operation in early 1964.  The actual date is not certain but a mention is made in the March 26, 1964 issue of The Herald under the column Hoffman Birthdays.  The guests of a certain birthday were “trying out a ‘whopper’ at the new Burger King March 21…All agreed that it was a swell place to have a party.”

The current owner told me that this was store #134 in the Burger King chain.  Considering the franchise started operations under the Burger King name ten years before in 1954 in Miami, FL, it’s actually pretty amazing that the Hoffman Estates store achieved this status.  In 1964 the villages of Schaumburg and Hoffman Estates were just getting their legs underneath them.  But the population was starting to boom and someone was sharp enough to see the eventual profits that could be made in such a central location.July 9 1964

To get an idea of what the store looked like in the beginning and what they had to offer, I’ve included some of the ads that appeared in The Herald.  You’ll notice that their address was 50 Hoffman Estates Plaza at Higgins and Roselle Roads.  Hamburgers were a bargain at .19 and giant Whoppers at .39.  You could even mix it up and have a fish sandwich for the price of a whopper if you felt like it.  Soft drinks ran from .10 to .15 and shakes from .19 to .29.  What a great deal!

One of the ads also mentions their air-conditioned and heated patio with its big picnic tables.  After talking to a young lady who worked there at her first job in 1968, she said that the basic building configuration has always been the same.  Rather than the fixed tables that were there most recently, picnic tables must have been scattered around the inside area.

August 20 1964 According to the owner, the building needed another remodeling and the configuration for getting into and out of the parking lot had affected the sales.  As a result, it was decided to close the business.  The last day was  March 24, 2014.  It’s always sad to see a restaurant close but when it’s the oldest, a part of history goes with it.

Here’s a question though–can you name the locations of all of the Burger Kings that have existed in Schaumburg Township?

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

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8 Responses to “DISCOVERED–THE OLDEST RESTAURANT IN SCHAUMBURG TOWNSHIP–AT LEAST IT WAS…”

  1. Dan Says:

    I can think of about 5 not including Hoffman Plaza:

    -Barrington Square (which based on the design was opened late 60s-early 70s), now gone.
    -1015 S Roselle, Schaumburg in Nantucket Square, opened 1981.
    -Irving Park & Barrington in Hanover Park. Was an early BK that underwent a remodeling about 10 years ago.
    -Biesterfield & Meacham in Elk Grove.
    -Golf & Barrington where Hoffman Community Bank is now. Opened in 1988.

  2. jkunzer Says:

    Hi Janet. Would you be interested in tracking down the first area McDonald’s? The earliest one I remember (from the 70s) was in Hanover Park on Irving Park Rd, across from Tradewinds (now known as Taqueria Los Comales).

    • jrozek Says:

      Hello jkunzer,

      I think you are correct. I did a search of the Daily Herald and the earliest mention I could find of a McDonald’s in Schaumburg Township was the building on the north side of Golf Road, just east of the intersection with Higgins Road. Just as you said.

      There was an ad from the October 16, 1970 paper that advertised the Grand Opening on Saturday, October 17 at 10 a.m. Ronald McDonald even showed up!

      Good question!

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian

  3. s Says:

    jkunzer: the first McDonalds is in Des Plaines.

  4. jkunzer Says:

    Thanks s. I meant in Schaumburg Township, specifically. Also possibly the one near Higgins & Golf?

  5. jkunzer Says:

    @jrozek: Thank you for looking into that, Jane!

  6. Bruce Trivellini Says:

    The configuration of the entrance onto Higgins was immediately a problem. By March 1964, the traffic on Higgins had increased dramatically as Hoffman’s western sprawl had already begun. In the beginning Higins road was slightly higher than the parking lot so the driveway had a sligh incline heading out. Made for difficult sight line. Having Hippos move to Higgins and Plum Grove where the light was installed made things worse. Actual date of opening I believe was march 14t, 1964. I remember when this location was built. I watched the construction because bus passed it every day taking me to Twinbrook Elementary. I lived in Sunset Hills. It did play a role once in a serious crime. I believe it was Grants (or the store that occupied Grants original Location) that was arsoned one morning and eye witnesses remember seeing the possible suspects getting a breakfast from that Burger King. (This was in the early ’70’s) Fuzzy details may want to check with the police on that.

    Bruce Trivellini

    • jrozek Says:

      Bruce,

      These are some very good, interesting details. I can’t believe you can nail down the actual date of the restaurant opening! I’m curious how you knew that. If it’s correct, it’s really good info to be able to add to the blog posting.

      Thank you,

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian

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