Friday, June 27, 2014

#104: Chuck-a-Burger Drive-In

My mom grew up in the St. John/Overland area, but specifically in the tiny village of Sycamore Hills. My grandparents lived in that area up until their deaths. Sycamore Hills is not far from the airport, but more like in the center of the St. Louis area. We're talking right off the St. Charles Rock Road when you get off I-170. She attended schools in the Ritenour School District. Right across from Ritenour High School sits this legendary St. Louis restaurant, called Chuck-a-Burger.

This is definitely one of those places that takes you back in time. I felt like I was eating in a 50s-like diner. Place was so small and it had several pieces of memorabilia on the wall. And, the food! My mom said that more than 50 years ago Chuck-a-Burger was a regional chain that was in head-to-head competition with places like Steak 'n Shake. I don't know what happened with the Chuck-a-Burger empire, like if they wanted to expand, but I found that interesting. As of now, the only existing location for Chuck-a-Burger is the one off of St. Charles Rock Road. For the record, there are several historical, old-looking places along that busy road. It's always cool to take a step back in time. As I mentioned above, I would come this way a lot from Illinois since my grandmother lived in this part of the area.

The sign, and the parking lot space where all the nostalgic car cruises happen

We be chuckin'
The cake, which is one of my favorites, because its got a pop-culture theme! It's got pretty much every popular dance from the 1950s and 1960s on it, because at that time it wasn't hard to get teens onto the dance floor with popular energetic rock and roll songs. As for the pictures on there, I'm not sure who the people are, where they went to high school (possibly Ritenour) and when those pics were taken. I'd sure love to know. Bill Christman, if you are reading this, comment!

The cake's artist, Bill Christman, has many of his sculptures and art around St. Louis, including the Indian statue in the Cherokee neighborhood. He owns Joe's Cafe, which is one of 'St. Louis' hidden gems'. It is only open on Thursday night, but it is worth going to if you have a free Thursday night. Live music is usually played, bring your own booze, and enjoy his backyard. Highly recommend it sometime!

NOW: The cake was reportedly sold to someone. It is now on private property.

Official website

9025 St. Charles Rock Road, ST. JOHN, MO, 63114
Cake artist: Bill Christman

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