Monday, December 27, 2010

Halo Burger Send Off

An important message via the Halo Burger Lovers Facebook page:
Tomorrow, Tuesday, December 28, is the last day that the Thomas Family will own Halo Burger after over 65 years. The business is being sold to a new owner. FOR THE THOUSANDS OF FLINT FAMILIES THAT THE THOMAS FAMILY HAS HELPED SUPPORT THROUGH JOBS, FINANCIAL AID AND VARIOUS GIFTS, HOW ABOUT WE SEND THEM OUT WITH THEIR SINGLE BIGGEST SALES DAY EVER? EVERYONE TRY TO HAVE LUNCH AT ANY HALO LOCATION ON TUESDAY!!!!!

10 comments:

  1. Would that I could have! I am so sad.

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  2. Wow. This seems sadly momentous. Who bought the company? Why did they sell?

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  3. High school -- '63 through June '66. Trademark infringements notwithstanding, we knew the place as "Kewpee's" and it was a major hangout for teens in Flint from all three, eventually four high schools.

    Our usual gambit was to score some beer at one of the more-casual-ID-wise local party stores, suck down three or four apiece, and then head downtown to Kewpee's for burgers, fries, and to take in the young social scene.

    As keeper of the memory of Tom -- KIA in Vietnam in '68 -- I am compelled to post the little ditty that he used to sing as we arrived in the parking lot, trying to walk straight and avoid the critical eye of the security cop. (Last name Florida -- whole family of Flint Police Department cops eventually.) Sung to the tune of "Days of Wine and Roses" I give you:

    "The days,
    Of beer and Kewpee's,
    Laugh and run away,
    From the cops all day...."

    I'm not sure Officer Florida ever heard us but he was always on our mind as we passed through the door -- hoping our breath wouldn't elicit further investigation on his part.

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  4. > Who bought the company? Why did they sell? <

    The Journal says the buyer is Lou Dortch, the owner of the Subway franchise around here. Supposedly he wants to explore going broad with the concept.

    His Subway stores are clean, well staffed and well managed in my experience, so if the change had to occur this seems like a good direction.

    Somewhere...maybe here in another thread, maybe in the Journal, or somewhere else...I heard that the reason the chain was for sale is that the next generation simply wasn't interested in being restauranteurs.

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  5. Jan, get the whole story from none other than Flint Expatriate, Alaskan outdoorsman, and all-around cool dude Bernard Roenberg:

    http://www.flintexpats.com/2010/10/halo-burger-past-present-and-future-by.html

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  6. And CD, that deserves a post of its own.

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  7. I remember Lou Dortsch advertising on WTRX. I even remember the instrumental that was in the background (it sounded like car horns), and him saying, "This is Lou Dortsch" on the commercial. But I can't remember what business he was promoting. Anyone remember? It was probably somewhere between 1965 and 1975, so he has been around a long time.

    And whatever happened to Leon of Leon's Carpets?

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  8. Leon was Bill Abernathy of Bill's Still (LLT) fame. Some members of the retired media will attest to Bill's pioneering in the recording business. Before AutoTune and Pro-Tools, Bill was making his own cassette adverts to send to the radio stations. "Grass, we got it! You can't smoke it, but you can lay it." The early 70s were rich in history for Flint.

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  9. I'm thinking that there must be a Lou Dortch, Sr. and Lou Dortch, Jr., but either way, it's good that the family that bought it has been around for a while.

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  10. Some stray info:

    Lou Dortch Sr. and Jr. are two of the principals in Dortch Enterprises, which has 40+ Subway locations in six Michigan counties.

    The family started out in dry cleaning in Flint in 1938, and relatives currently own the Troy Cleaners chain, so maybe that was the WTRX radio pitch.

    Dortch Enterprises sold 14 successful Qdoba locations back to the Qdoba corporate parent in 2008. My guess is that they want to make the jump from multi-location franchisee to concept developer and franchisor.

    I say, more power to them.

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