Wheel Inn to be Out of Business

1 decade 8 months 3 weeks ago Saturday, August 25 2007 Aug 25, 2007 Saturday, August 25, 2007 8:59:23 AM CDT August 25, 2007 in News

MODOT needs the property, and the bulldozers are less than two weeks away.

"It is kinda a novelty," Wheel Inn owner Pat Brandkamp said. "Not everyone puts peanut butter on their burgers."

For some, it's become an icon.

"It started in 1947 and so did i, so it was a good year for some things, especially burgers," said out-of-state visitor Bob French.

It's a family business and a place full of a past generations' memories.

"We'd been roller skating downtown, this was fairly new, and we stopped here to have a hamburger on the way home, a hamburger and coke," Wheel Inn regular Mary-Ann Dillingham said.

A date Dillingham shared with one man there turned into marriage.

"I was 17 years old, and I'm soon to be 80," Dillingham said.

The Brandkamps have kept the burger joint running since the 1980's.

"[It's] just kinda like going to your relatives for lunch, going to your neighbors," Brandkamp said.

It's still the same drive-in, with the same decor, same people and same menu.

"When they started out years ago they used to serve beer, now they don't, that's the only change," Brandkamp said.

Everything was running smoothly until MODOT decided to widen the road and add a turn lane through their property.

"Once they decided that was it, we just resolved ourselves to the fact that was it, and there was nothing we could do about it," Brandkamp said.

They understand why MODOT wants to expand, but that doesn't make it any easier.

"It's just something you always thought would be here forever and ever," Brandkamp said. "There would always be someone here to do it, the Guberburgers would always be here."

Brandkamp is now packing up, ready for retirement.

"It's, it's just not going to be the same," Brandkamp said. "And I'm sure that other people will sell the Guberburger, but it's not going to be the same, it's not going to be our Guberburger, it's not going to be Wheel Inn's Guberburger."

Wheel Inn fans are loading up before it's too late while others are trying to get their first taste before it closes. Rumor has it a trader wanted the Wheel Inn's curly fry maker in the 1940's and traded the secret Guberburger recipe for the machine. The Brandkamp's estimate they've used at least a dump truck of peanut butter to make Guberburgers during the last 20 years.

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