Mattoon, Illinois: The Burger King"The Burger King" has been in business since before the national fast food franchise, so it's allowed to use the name.
- 1508 Charleston Ave., Mattoon, IL
- I-57 exit 190B, then west on Hwy 16 about 2.5 miles. Downtown, on the corner of Hwy 16/Charleston Ave. and 15th St.
- Store hours if you want to eat. (Call to verify)
Visitor Tips and News About The Burger King
Stopped by the original Burger King for lunch yesterday. The place was packed! I had a hooter with cheese and cheese sticks. Very good. The staff was friendly and the restaurant was quaint. Local art was for sale in the back dining area, and they had a few old arcade games back there as well. They also serve breakfast foods![Crystal JD, 10/02/2014]
This Burger King was in business before the chain of the same name, so it's the only non-Burger King "Burger King" in the world.
The Burger King in Mattoon is still up and running! Can't go wrong with a Hooter Burger and a butterscotch shake![Amy L, 03/23/2009]
In Mattoon Illinois is the original Burger King. But don't expect your usually Whopper -- instead you will be treated to a Hooter burger! I live in nearby Charleston and have always wondered how this burger joint was able to call itself Burger King.
Well, it turns out this "Burger King" is unaffiliated with the well-known franchise. Mattoon resident Gene Hoots bought the Frigid Queen ice cream shop from his uncle and then expanded the business adding hamburgers to the menu in 1954. At that time he coined the name "Burger King" with a registered state trademark in Illinois. But later he lost a suit against the Florida Burger King chain, whose federal trademark was ruled to hold priority over his state trademark. Interestingly, the courts ruled that the Florida based Burger King franchise could not open within a 20 mile radius of the Mattoon Burger King. They serve very good old-fashioned burgers and shakes.[Chris Kee, 09/18/2003]
Hmmm... we wonder if it's time for a return of the Frigid Queen(TM)!