A History of

Kirk's Steakburgers

We got our humble beginning after World War II, when our founder, Bill Sincere and his wife, "Kirk" relocated to California from New York. Although Bill had spent most of his adult life working in retail, the move to sunny California gave him the desire to try something completely different.

He considered sales, but the thought of opening a restaurant was never far from his mind. He remembered how restaurants in New York prepared their burgers and hot dogs by cooking them one at a time over charcoal. Vendors allowed customers to add their own toppings, and served their fare with potato chips and heavenly milkshakes. The basic idea was good meat served without fanfare. The only problem was that during severe New York weather, many businesses closed for several months. In California however, Bill didn't believe that this would be a problem.

He searched everywhere in California, but couldn't find one single restaurant doing burgers this way. Just as he was about to give up and take a sales job at Macy's, his mother gave him a small loan and encouraged his entrepreneurship. The rest, as they say, is history! Bill rented land on El Camino Real in Palo Alto, built a small building, found a butcher who would grind his steak, and opened the first Kirk's Steakburgers in 1948.

Customers came from all around, first as students from Stanford, and then as developers and early electronics wizards from Moore, Hewlett Packard, Noyce, and others. It seemed as if everyone in California wanted to try one of Bill's amazing burgers! Long lines could be seen along El Camino, although turnover was fast. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their burgers, and chatting with Bill, as he flipped those perfect steak patties better than anyone else. He continued on in his newfound success and passed both business and recipes down the line through his family to create the Kirk's Steakburgers of today!