“Hamburger Pickle On Top!
Makes Your Heart Go Flippity Flop!”
When we looked to stop at this staple of Lima, Ohio, we knew they had three locations. We wanted to go to the one with the iconic naked baby on the roof (11 N. Elizabeth St. in Lima, Ohio). When we read about the restaurant, there was a catchphrase: Kewpee Hamburgers – Home of the Mity Nice Hamburger!
The line of cars outside wrapped around two sides of the building. Inside, the line was from the counter to the door. I read the menu repeatedly, looking for the “Mity Nice Hamburger.” I couldn’t find any mention of it, so I asked some teenagers next to me if they were local. I caught them off guard, and they didn’t seem too chatty. A guy, my age next to me said he’s lived here his whole life, and that was the first time he heard of the “Mity Nice Hamburger.” We debated if it was a “Mitty” or “Mighty” nice burger. I asked a younger person behind the counter, but they looked at me like the teenagers. Then a kind lady my age smiled and said, it’s “Mighty” spelled “Mity” and refers to all the burgers there.
Sometimes, it’s nice to chat with strangers. You can learn things even Google, Siri, or Alexa can’t tell you.
The first Kewpee hamburger shop opened in Flint, Michigan, in 1918. It’s one of the oldest hamburger chains still in existence, albeit not many Kewpees are left. The Lima, Ohio, location downtown opened ten years later thanks to Hoyt F. “Stub” Wilson and his wife Julia M. “June” Wilson. It only cost a nickel to order a “Mity Nice Hamburger” back then.
We ordered the daily special and grabbed an orange chair booth to dig in. I started with the fries. They were perfectly goldened and crispy. I must say, those were “Mity Nice” fries! The meat patty was so juicy and soft that it melted in my mouth. And the tomato on top was ripe-soft delicious.
With all the gourmet burger joints today, this classic stop beat any burger I’ve tasted in years. And the price was extremely reasonable!
Oh! Don’t leave without getting a shake or malt for the road.
By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler, Your Tour Guide to Fun