Bristol’s first Read more [...]
Place Category: Dining
The Original Burger Bar located in downtown Bristol, Va/Tn has been a classic diner since 1942. Famously known as the last place Hank Williams, Sr. was seen alive. Serving only the freshest, juiciest burgers available.
Article below from Southeastern Traveler:
The Burger Bar has had a few owners over the years, and even a few names, but today Joe and Kayla Deel proudly own the historic little eatery near State Street in Bristol, Virginia. You almost have to squeeze your way past the front door, worming your way through the small floor space and past a long row of loyal, daily customers. But it’s well worth the effort to get inside: the burgers are more than just delicious, they are practically historic. With names for burgers like the Plain Jane Burger, I Can’t Get You Off My Mind, and Howlin’ at the Moon, you are not just eating food, you’re meeting a character.
The Burger Bar has a long history, first opening as the Snack King in 1942. For nearly 20 years, it was owned and operated by Sean Howlin and his mother, serving delicious hamburgers, hotdogs, and floats. But the real history for Joe Deel begins when Ben Zandi, owner of The Troutdale Dining Room, bought the Burger Bar.
Joe is not your typical cook, and he’s not your typical owner, either. He was a typical military brat who moved to a new town every two years throughout most of his childhood. He eventually returned to the area to complete a culinary degree from Virginia Intermont College, but don’t make the mistake of thinking he’s just a guy with a college degree. “A culinary degree is only part of the formula; you must have ambition and love,” Joe tells me while standing at the grill flipping burgers. He’s the perfect amalgamation of owner and chef. After working as a chef for twelve years, Joe bought the Burger Bar, redecorated the interior, and opened on January 1, 2013.
THE BURGER BAR IS LITERALLY A HOLE IN THE WALL after Joe bought the space next door, opened a hole in the wall, and added additional seating. The main portion of the restaurant has a beautiful bar with chrome trim and nostalgic plush, round stools so about ten people can sit. A couple of tables provide seating for another 15-20 people, so the larger space next door provides an opportunity to entertain large groups or busy dinner hours.
Old photos and newspaper articles hang on the walls, the seats are made of plush material and comfortable to use, and the low chatter of conversation make this place feel cozy. It’s small, but big on heart. A few additional tables outside give some added seating during peak hours, but also gives you a chance to watch traffic slowly pass on nearby State Street. Whether you sit inside or out, the atmosphere is comfortable, especially when you will most likely be greeted by either Joe or Kayla as soon as you walk inside.
THE MENU READS LIKE A PLAYBILL for a theatrical performance starring Hank Williams. All the burgers on the menu are named after Williams’ songs, giving them a sort of characterization of their own. In addition to the burgers, you can also order french toast, eggs and sausage, pancakes, hot dogs, a slew of side items, and finish it off with a milkshake or float. It’s enough to keep anyone’s stomach satisfied, and also enough to keep you coming back time and again.