Before fast food and trendy burger chains took control, places like Kemps in Burlington, Mass., reigned supreme in pleasing those with a love for that all-American favorite, the hamburger.
This colorful, brightly lit 1950s-style hamburger stand brought in crowds that loved the idea of dining on a tasty burger along with fries and a shake for under $1. Located on Route 3A right by the former IGA supermarket that eventually became the former Building 19 discount store, Kemps looked like something out of a Happy Days episode.
While Burlington has just about every store and restaurant one would ever need today, I miss the innocence and simplicity of businesses like Kemps. Nothing fancy, no gourmet tendencies, but just a place that everyone seemed to enjoy before so many online reviewers spoiled our fun by becoming critical, cynical and condescending.
Kemps would probably not do well on Yelp today, but who cares? We never asked for much then, and were just grateful for an inexpensive night out amongst good people. Even a six-year-old could see that, like me, in the 1960s!
Does anyone remember Kemps?
Nostalgic Boston memories of a simpler time including favorite restaurants no longer there, retro family road trips, travel attractions, TV and radio personalities and special hometown reflections. Also featuring old school Boston businesses still thriving today!
Kemps Hamburger Stand in Burlington, Mass.
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My dad grew up in Arlington and it was always a big deal when he, his five brothers and sisters, and his parents went to Kemps in their 1961 Chevy Wagon. The biggest problem was deciding who was going to sit on the tailgate! Eight people, $4 to eat. We didn't have much, but we had Kemps.ReplyDelete
As remember they also sold hot dogs.ReplyDelete
As I remember they sold hot dogs too.ReplyDelete
I remember Kemps.burgers were 10 cents. That was in the mid 1960's.ReplyDelete
Kemps was founded by Frannie Fox. His father owned IJ Fox the furriers before fur became a no-no.ReplyDelete
Nobody has a photo of that place? Let this be a lesson. TAKE PICTURES OF THINGS THAT SEEM DULL, FOR ONE DAY THEY WILL BE PRECIOUS PICTURES.ReplyDelete
We're wondering if this was a chain with the one in Worchester? Anyone know?ReplyDelete
Remember Kemps, I used to work at one. Yup, we had a store in Worcester (pronounced as "Wista"). These are all in cents. Hamburger-18, Hamb. with cheese-20, fries-15, Pepsi-20, shake-25. The business angle was to sell burgers at cost, as a draw: and make it up on the fries, sodas.ReplyDelete
Remember Kemps, I used to work in one about 1967. They had a franchise in Worcestor (pronounced as "Wista"), Mass. They sold hamburger for 18 cents, which was at cost, as a draw. Then make a profit on the fries and sodas.ReplyDelete
Yup, I remember the small Kemps in Hyannis/Yarmouth line. I saw the building just last week. Looks different but still there. Wayne Wood in NH SeacoastDelete
There was one on Cape Cod in Hyannis, too.ReplyDelete
There was one on Cape Cod in Hyannis, too, on the corner of Iyannough Road and Ridgewood Avenue. It's a Honeydew Donuts now.ReplyDelete
Me an my friends loved hanging out at the Stonehams Kemp's right off of 93.circa 1967!Delete
The first Kemps was sort of behind where A & W Rootbear was not far from the drive in or Rt 28. Hamburgers were 15 Cents there. Oh, what a moment in time memory wise. So sad all is gone.Delete
I grew up in Burlington. I remembered eating at kemps. Use to walked there for lunch when I worked at the IGA as a teenager.ReplyDelete
they had a great neon sign.also around 1968 they added an ice cream stand out front. used to go there after playing baseball games at simonds park.ReplyDelete
My dad had a trucking company Cargo Imperial down the street near 128 I worked weekends and summers and loved getting 2 burgers 2 fries and a milkshake for a buck.ReplyDelete
Burgers not the best but it filled you up.
I lived in Burlington and worked at Kemps in 65 and 66.ReplyDelete
It was the 18 cent Hamburger, 12 cent fries and 25 cent shakes. When I got tired of the burgers, I ate the hotdogs or fried fish patty with tarta sauce. Never got tired of the strawberry shakes. At one time my brother, sister and best friend worked there. Started at window, moved up to grill, then became night manager.
Those were the days...LOL
I used to work at kemps at hyannis,ma.best grease burgers and fries and great strawberry shakesDelete
I worked at the Kemps in Nashua...always went home feeling like a grease-ball, but LOVED the job and the friends I made there. So many great people...Randy, Steve, Sharon, Bob, Judy...the list goes on.ReplyDelete
OMG! I worked there until the doors were closed! This is Kathy, started out as window girl, then moved up to grill. The best job ever, I think because of the friends I made there! Randy was my favorite, and Madeleine, and Judy, and the fun group. Best job ever!Delete
There were two in Fall River, one on Twelfth St., between Bedford and Pleasant streets, where the China Royal was later built, and now a CVS and Boston Market are located today. The other was on Broadway, near the Globe Four Corners, where a car wash is now. A nice photo of the Broadway stand, from the late '50's (with a sweet '57 Buick is parked out front), can be seen on the Fall River Historic Photo Club's website.ReplyDelete
I worked at both Fall River stores in high school. Then went on to work the one in Worcester for a summer. Worked the one on Cambridge St in Boston right up the street from Government center, the old Garden. Moved on to the Hyannis store in 1969 for two years. I then started my own business, The Egg and I and ran that one an others until 2009 when I finally retired from the restaurant business after 49 years. Cut my teeth at those KempsReplyDelete