Monument to the Birthplace of the Cheeseburger

Field review by the editors.

Denver, Colorado

A granite monument dedicated in 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 in 1935. 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. But Kaelin's has no stone marker, and it went out of business in 2009, so the 1934 menu has vanished.

We tip our windshield visor to Louisville, but for your cheesy meat patty pilgrimage, Denver is the place to go.

Monument to the 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

Giant Milk Can Ice Cream ShopGiant Milk Can Ice Cream Shop, Denver, CO - < 1 mi.
SoundwalkSoundwalk, Denver, CO - 1 mi.
Giant PencilGiant Pencil, Denver, CO - 1 mi.
In the region:
Leap Year Landmark Buildings, Golden, CO - 11 mi.

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June 24, 2019

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