Don’t bother me, I’m mourning

Picture%203.pngProving that these things come in threes (or fours, if you include ice skater Chris Bowman), Carl Karcher, founder of the Carl’s Jr. fast food chain, died on Friday in Fullerton just a few days short of his 91st birthday.

Starting with a single hot dog cart in in 1941, Carl transitioned his business into Carl’s Drive-In Barbecue four years later, and opened the first Carl’s Jr. restaurant in 1956 (the “junior” referred to it being smaller than the Anaheim drive in).

There are now over 3000 restaurants owned by the company Karcher founded, CKE Restaurants, which includes Hardees, La Salsa, and Green Burrito, as well as Carl’s Jr.

While we have not been able to confirm details of memorial services, there is some speculation that Ronald McDonald, Jack Box, and the King will be pallbearers.

7 Replies to “Don’t bother me, I’m mourning”

  1. A few years back, my husband and I splurged and flew business class to London using frequent flyer miles. Carl was in business class with us (not in first class with Minnie Driver and Tim Roth who were also on the flight). Carl was quite the talker. A staunch Catholic, he was on his way to see the pope (with one of his sons, a priest). Carl gave us the prayer of St. Francis on a little folded piece of paper—with a coupon for a free burger inside.

    Don’t bother me…I’m praying and eating.

  2. He was a nice guy, met him years ago through my Uncle who’s company in Anaheim did some of the early engineering work for Carl’s Jr back in the 80’s. Very devoted to church and family (which is where I think my Uncle met him first). Wish the family well, always sad to see someone pass.

  3. When I was a child, a trip to Carl’s Jr. was even more special than a trip to McDonald’s — more high-end, you might say. I used to LOVE their steak sandwiches. They’ve brought them back, but they’re not quite the same. I feel like a little of my childhood has died. :(

  4. haven’t had a carl’s jr burger in awhile… they’re sooo good though. probably the best of the fast food chains. i think i’ll scrum a double western bacon chee out of respect for the o.g. carl.

  5. I served Carl at a restaurant I was working at in Newport Beach about 10 years ago. I remember him being a really nice guy. The tip wasn’t particularly notable (good or bad,) but I also got one of those burger coupons with it. Although I’ve had more than a few Carl’s Jr. burgers since then, I never redeemed that coupon. It seemed more effective as a pleasant memory than a meal.

  6. While you’re all waxing poetic upon the corpse of Karl K and the goodness of his burgers, I’ll be over here remembering his insider-trading, his endorsement of legislation that would have allowed schools to fire gay teachers, his support of ultra conservative politicians and his opposition to a woman’s right to choose.

  7. “Devoted to the church” is the understatement of the year. I’m not cold-hearted enough to be happy about somebody passing away, but given his extremely right wing politics I’m not exactly mourning his passing either.

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