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Birthplace of the Cheeseburger

Field review by the editors.

Denver, Colorado

A granite monument dedicated on March 5, 1987, indicates where the Humpty Dumpty Barrel restaurant, "Colorado's first drive-in," once stood. It's owner, Louis E. Ballast, supposedly created the cheeseburger on this site. To legally bolster the claim, the monument notes that, "The Cheeseburger trademark was registered by Mr. Ballast on March 5, 1935."

Tipster Mark Turner reminds us that an eatery named Kaelin's in Louisville, Kentucky, has a "1934 menu to substantiate their claim as the birthplace of the cheeseburger," which would beat Humpty Dumpty's claim by a full year.

A bronze plaque on the outside wall of Kaelin's announces its cheeseburger claim, and while we tip our windshield visor to Louisville, a plaque is just not as meaningful as a monument. For your cheesy meat patty recognition pilgrimage, Denver is the place to go.

Also see: Cheeseburger Birthplace: California | Cheeseburger Birthplace: Kentucky

Birthplace of the Cheeseburger

Key Bank

2776 N. Speer Blvd., Denver, CO
I-25 exit 212A. Drive west on Speer Blvd for two blocks. The tiny stone is on the right (north) side, behind some bushes in front of the Key Bank, where the building meets its parking lot, just past Firth Court.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Downtown Aquarium: MermaidsDowntown Aquarium: Mermaids, Denver, CO - < 1 mi.
Giant Milk Can Ice Cream ShopGiant Milk Can Ice Cream Shop, Denver, CO - < 1 mi.
Convergence StationConvergence Station, Denver, CO - 1 mi.
In the region:
Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, Denver, CO - 7 mi.

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