In a previous “Who Remembers…?” we discussed Burger Chef. A number of people had mentioned another burger joint Howdy Beef n’ Burger. Having grown right here and not recalling Howdy Beef n’ Burger, I knew it was before my time. There are a LOT of “Who Remembers…?” that I would like to do – in fact, a number that would already have been done – however, the lack of images prevents that.
Howdy Beef ‘n Burger was a chain with at least 27 locations making it easier to come across photographs and anecdotes – enough to put something together.
The Howdy Beef ‘n Burger chain was started by the same fellow that also founded Dunkin’ Donuts, William Rosenberg. The chain centralized in Boston and spread outward over the course of a few years and was inspired by the children’s television show that ran from 1947-1960.
“Howdy’s” was supposed to be a Dunkin’ Donuts segue into focusing on and serving food. In fact, many of the first few Howdy’s, like the one in Concord, NH that opened in 1965 and owned by Sam Silverstein, were “combination” Dunkin Donuts and Howdy Beef ‘n Burgers and not stand-alone shops. While these were separate storefronts, they shared the same parking lots and were right alongside one another.
The idea was that customers could stop in for coffee and “a” doughnut or muffin in the morning, and return later for lunch or supper. These first franchises were said to be very profitable. Silverstein said of his Concord shop that the Howdy’s brought it more revenue than his Dunkin’ Donut’s location by a long shot.
As far as the South Coast goes, the Fall River location was on President Avenue and the business mogul, Michael Panagakos, owned two of them in New Bedford. One of which was situated downtown, on Purchase Street.
I do remember the McDonald’s that replaced it, but not the Howdy’s. Based off of memory from when I was a child, I believe the Howdy’s Beef ‘n Burger/McDonalds was next door to where the Bamboo Garden was. I couldn’t find any solid information where the second one was (near the car wash), but came across one anecdote that mentioned it was at the bottom of Rockdale Avenue.
I know that someone out there will recall both and I hope you clarify.
What I’ve come across in terms of anecdotes are many. What’s remembered fondly? “Howdy, may I help you?” Clipping coupons to get four burgers for one buck or occasional sales where you could get twelve burgers for a dollar. A New England menu with seafood, including haddock or shrimp dinners, fish sandwiches, clam strips, and Snow’s clam chowder.
The Big “B” was their version of the Big Mac or Whopper – speaking of which I came across the mention of a sandwich called the “Whooper.” There was a popular roast beef sandwich and a fried chicken with French fries plate. A soda or order of French fries were 20 cents. Rumors are that you could, of course, order Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. While they didn’t have anything similar to a Happy Meal, with every order a child got a Howdy Doody button.
The jingle was as follows:
Beefburgers made with just the finest meats
Howdy Beefburger Drive-Ins, Drive right up and get
Speedy Speedy Speedy Service and the best Beefburgers yet.”
Do you remember Howdy’s Beef ‘N Burgers? Have pictures or anecdotes? Please comment and share!