Iconic Red's Giant Hamburg closed in 1984 after 47 years in business. Red Chaney, shown here sitting on the 1955 Buick in front of the restaurant he operated with his wife, Julia.
No. 19 Red's Giant Hamburg farewell
Springfield’s own Red’s Giant Hamburg was committed to U.S. history – some might even say legend – when it closed Dec. 14, 1984, after 47 years in business on Route 66.
Operated by Red and Julia Chaney, the eatery’s name came from Red Chaney’s attempt to build his own sign. Perhaps by some stroke of fate or accidental genius, the proportions were measured incorrectly, leaving “Giant” on the horizontal crossbar, and “Hamburg” on the vertical pole.
In front was a 1955 Buick positioned by Chaney to keep people from backing into the sign. According to several accounts, the restaurant was home to the first drive-up window, but that wasn’t its only claim to fame.
Red’s Giant Hamburg was featured in a song and music video by The Morells, and in Rolling Stone magazine, as well as myriad newspaper and magazine articles.