Many turn out for party burgers, a taste of the past

Published 9:33 am Tuesday, May 9, 2023

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Many wanted a taste of the past, as David’s Catfish House became The Ponderosa on May 8 to cook the well-known party burgers.

Atmore residents lined Main Street from the restaurant to Atmore First Assembly as well as inside of the restaurant for the popular burgers.

Owner Rob Faircloth, wearing suspenders just like his father, previous Ponderosa Owner Rob Sr. did, said more than 4,000 burgers were cooked.

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According to Advance archives, the burgers were five for $1.

“That was back when all he had was a four-inch bun with mustard, ketchup and a pickle,” Faircloth said in the 2023 Progress. “You could get cheese, but that was extra. That was back in time where you had The Ponderosa and the dairy bar.

“Everybody had a hot rod, and they’d make the loop there and then here,” he added. “They’d stop and eat in the parking lot. Everybody had curb service. Curb service was a big deal back then.”

Faircloth said his father came up with the party burger to help build volume.

“He was in the grocery business with his brothers,” he said. “We had a family grocery store, The Faircloths, where Trammell Street Square is now.”

Just like his father did back then, the burgers Monday were cooked fresh.

Three grills were used to cook the burgers, and a crew inside the restaurant fixed them up for the waiting customers.

“We always got fresh, ground beef from Bully Brooks,” Faircloth said. “He was in the grocery business. They were where A&P was, or where the hardware store was. He always bought his meet from Bully Brooks. (Atmore Police Chief) Chuck Brooks is Bully’s son.”