Louisville, Kentucky: Birthplace of the Cheeseburger (Gone)

Kaelin's was a family-run restaurant 1934-2004. New owners closed the place in 2009. A bronze plaque on the back side of the empty building proclaimed it to be the "Birthplace Of The Cheeseburger" in 1934.
Southeast side of the city. I-264 exit 15 or 15A, then northwest on Hwy 1703/Newburg Rd for a little over a mile. On the north side, west of the golf course and east of the cemetery, at the corner of Newburg Rd and Speed Ave. "Birthplace of the Cheeseburger" plaque is on the back side of the building, next to the entrance door closest to Speed Ave.
Business closed, 2016 - plaque gone

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Kaelin's: Birthplace of the Cheeseburger

Restaurant is closed. The sign is gone too. Building seems to be undergoing some renovation.

[Amado Albert Nessia., 08/01/2016]

The restaurant closed in 2014. The "Birthplace of the Cheeseburger" plaque may still be bolted to the back of the building; it was still there in Oct. 2015.

Birthplace of the Cheeseburger

Kaelin's Restaurant closed in 2009, then became a coffee shop, then became an Irish restaurant and pub. That establishment is now closed, too. The sign announcing Kaelin's as the Birthplace of the Cheeseburger still stands on the south side of the building.

[James Hite, 09/01/2015]
Birthplace of the Cheeseburger

Kaelin's Restaurant is no longer in operation. The building now houses a new restaurant.

[Anita, 09/11/2009]

Kaelin's sign.

Birthplace of the Cheeseburger - Kaelin's Restaurant

One of many with such a claim. The restaurant was closed the day I went by; so I cannot say whether they have good burgers, and didn't get to see the inside stuff.

[Scott Mobley, 02/16/2008]
Birthplace of the Cheeseburger - Kaelin's Restaurant

I'm pleased to report that Kaelin's has bounced back significantly under new management.

As for the birthday cheeseburger, I'd call it good, not great. One fresh but standard grocery-store hamburger bun dressed with a lettuce leaf, a slice of tomato, a slice of white onion and a schmear of mayo bore a good-size but none-too-juicy burger patty and a from-the-packet slice of mild bright-yellow American cheese. A straight-up burger, well-made but bland. Worst, however, I had called for it rare, joking with the server to "pat it on the butt and run it through the fire." She seemed to get it, but the burger came to the table well-done, tough and dry.

The chili was better, classic "Louisville-style," thick and spicy with grocery-store chili powder, loaded with ground beef, pinto beans and tomato bits, served over spoon-size lengths of pasta that looked a little more like linguine than the traditional spaghetti.

Kaelin's remains a fine neighborhood spot, with extra points for new management's clean-up, fix-up (and an attractive streetside patio out front with an awning and heaters that will make it habitable for much of the year). But historic or no, this burger's still no Hall of Famer.

[Janet, 12/05/2006]

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