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2019 Year in Review No. 10: Red’s Giant Hamburg is back

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SPRINGFIELD, AUG. 5—After more than three decades, Red’s Giant Hamburg is back in business.

The new version of the historic burger joint, now co-owned by Greg Iott and David Campbell, opened at 2301 W. Sunshine St.

“Yesterday was tremendously successful,” said co-owner Greg Iott of the restaurant’s soft opening on Aug. 4. “Lots and lots of people remember Red’s.”

The 4,500-square-foot restaurant serves hamburgers, fries, fish sandwiches, tenderloins and shakes, among other items. The menu recaptures much of the dishes that were served at the original restaurant founded in 1937.

Iott and Campbell did not disclose startup costs. A city building permit put the estimated cost of construction at $750,000 for the project completed by Dock Brothers Construction Co.

Before the restaurant’s revival this year, Julia Chaney and her husband, Red, operated Red’s Giant Hamburg for 47 years. It closed in December 1984. Photos celebrating the restaurant’s history are displayed in the new eatery, which employs 50.

The restaurant is known for its signage, as Red attempted to build his own sign but incorrectly measured the proportions, resulting in Hamburg, rather than Hamburger, appearing outside the former gas station on Route 66.

The eatery gained fame operating on The Mother Road and for its status as the first restaurant with a drive-up window. It later was referenced in pop culture through a song and music video by The Morells and a feature in Rolling Stone magazine.

Unlike its namesake, the new Red’s Giant Hamburg is not located on Route 66. The original resided at Chestnut Expressway and Glenn Avenue.

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