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Red’s Giant Hamburg is back

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Last edited 2:58 p.m., Aug. 5, 2019

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

The new iteration of the historic burger joint opened at 10 a.m. at 2301 W. Sunshine St., adjacent to Furniture Factory Outlet. A soft opening was held yesterday, said co-owner Greg Iott.

“Yesterday was tremendously successful,” said Iott, who brought back Red’s with business partner David Campbell. “Lots and lots of people remember Red’s.”

Iott, who spoke to Springfield Business Journal about 30 minutes before opening this morning, said he expects a positive reception today.

“I think by 12, 12:30, we’re going to see the equivalent of an In-N-Out opening,” he said, referencing In-N-Out Burger. “They’ll be out in the street. Today’s going to be a barn burner for sure.”

The 4,500-square-foot restaurant serves hamburgers, fries, fish sandwiches, tenderloins and shakes, among other items. A city building permit put the estimated cost of construction at $750,000 for the project completed by Dock Brothers Construction Co.

KOLR10, which published a report Aug. 2 about the launch, indicated Iott and Campbell secured the rights from Julia Chaney, who operated Red’s Giant Hamburg with her husband Red for 47 years until its December 1984 closure, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting. Photos celebrating the restaurant’s history are displayed in the new eatery.

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. It also reputedly was the first restaurant with a drive-thru window.

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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