The Herald Bulletin

January 28, 2013

Hamburger High restaurant closes

By Baylee Pulliam
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Start passing out the class photos and signing yearbooks.

Hamburger High, the popular high school-themed restaurant at 21 W. 38th St., closed Saturday.

Diana Basey, who owned the restaurant with husband Tim, said she had nothing but fond memories since the store opened in May 2011.

For example, watching Tyler Donald down three “School Bully” burgers in record time — that’s about six pounds of beef, total.

“We will miss the store, but where one door closes another will open,” Basey said. “Our store wasn’t for everyone, but the ones that were our regulars loved the place.”

She said the atmosphere of the dining room, including walls covered by an array of antique lunch boxes, lockers and ’50s-era music, was a welcome reminder for many customers of their own high school days.

“It was nostalgic for them to see their old lunch box on the wall or some of our other memorabilia we had around,” Basey said.

The restaurant featured a fast-food-like menu, with fresh ingredients and the majority of the items made from scratch on-site.

Basey said the rising cost of those ingredients, including rising beef prices brought on by last summer’s drought, was a big factor in the closure.

“If your food cost starts going up then your prices have to start going up,” she said. “Our business is pretty much based on beef product.”

She added that many fast-food chains have to “revamp” their menus to cope with rising costs, but “they have deeper pockets to wait out this spike.”

Basey posted on the store’s Facebook page, asking “Anyone interested in purchasing a quaint little Hamburger Joint (to) get in touch” with her.

She also asked for help locating job openings for the restaurant’s 10 employees and thanked customers for their support.

“We appreciate the patronage that we had and feel it was a really neat concept and people enjoyed coming in and putting the Bully down,” she said.

Find Baylee Pulliam on Facebook, on Twitter @BayleeNPulliam or call 648-4250.