Well, Blessed New Year to everyone and my hope is that it will be a great one for each of you. Thanks for your support and prayers this past year.
Our city as we should all know continued to grow in terms of the restaurant scene last year. We continue to say it but it is true…..for a city of our size, there are plenty of places to eat. Well, I guess we should pause for a minute to ask if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I suppose if you like good new places to try then it is a really good thing.
We are going to start the new year off by going old school and reviewing a restaurant that has a lot of history in Springfield but at the same time has reinvented itself. The new restaurant located at 2301 W. Sunshine St.,(adjacent to Furniture Factory Outlet.) is Red’s Giant Hamburg. It is actually a new version of an old place.
The shadow of the old Red’s Giant Hamburg is long as it has garnered a wonderful reputation and many customers over the years. It gained fame operating on Route 66 and for its status as the first restaurant with a drive-up window. It later was referenced in pop culture through a song and music video by The Morells and a feature in Rolling Stone magazine. It closed over 35 years ago but the new owners have erected essentially a tribute restaurant in the spirit and image of the old one except it is new with a throwback to the old.
According to legend the restaurant was operated by Red and Julia Chaney, Red attempted to build his own sign but incorrectly measured the proportions, resulting in Hamburg, rather than Hamburger, appearing outside the former gas station. A replica Red’s Giant Hamburg sign was installed in 2015 along College Street near downtown Springfield in a roadside park that pays homage to Route 66.
In terms of the food well you already know hamburgers off the grill in an old diner style. The place is definitely a throwback in every way from signage, décor, jukebox, drive-through, you name it. Well, you might not have been around in the 1950s and ’60s but this place will take you back.
When we attended the place was super busy with all chairs full and a hefty line in the drive-through. We had to look for seats and fortunately, someone got up just as soon as we ordered which was nice! It was old school booths and they were fun and comfortable. The one irritating aspect of the place is the speaker system which is constantly announcing the numbers of orders that are finished. The system is loud and it almost seems like you can’t talk for the speaker system. That was annoying but that is a part of the atmosphere I suppose but it is what it is.
I got the fish sandwich and it was moist and tasty. My son got a signature hamburger and he reported that it was really good. Prices are reasonable and portions are adequate. The other dishes all seemed typical diner fare and lots of smiling faces in the place.
I am a fan and recommend it if you want a taste of Springfield history and nostalgia at the same time. I am a fan and will head back and since I wasn’t around for the first iteration it’s cool to check out the second. If you visit Red’s let me know what you think.
3 and ½ forks