Heap Big Beef
Posted by LOTGK on December 7, 2007
A Blast From The Past
In the late 1960′s, Arby’s roast beef restaurants were springing up. In fact, the first Arby’s restaurant opened in Boardman, Ohio, my hometown, on July 23, 1964 on route 224 right across the street from St. Charles Catholic Church. (My purgatory for 8 hard years)
But we’re not talking about Arby’s this time, but a rival fast food roast beef sandwich shop named Heap Big Beef. Heap Big Beef was an Arby’s twin (I would have said clone but we’re talking 1969 here) and was trying to ride on the successful coattails of the fast food chain.
As I recall, the sandwich was good, plenty of thin sliced juicy roast beef, even if it was processed. The bun was lightly buttered and covered in sesame seeds. And the French fries, they were cooked to a golden brown, almost crunchy. I can still taste them.
One particular day, oh, I was about 8 or 9 years old and I wandered into Heap Big Beef. Yes, the restaurant was in close walking distance to my house and since my older brother Jack’s friends worked there, I walked up to the counter and asked if I could have a free order of French fries and a coke. Danny, Jack’s buddy, looked at me, smirked, and asked why should I receive free fries. I told him matter of factly that my brother would kick his ass if he didn’t.
For just a second, the restaurant went quiet. Then Danny smiled, and started laughing out loud like a wild man. The entire work force was laughing and Danny fixed up a large order of fries and a large coke. He told me to come back anytime.
That was the only time I didn’t pay.
The Heap lasted only a couple of years and the building was vacant for quite a while. I do believe a bank opened up a few years later and finally the structure was torn down.
LURKING ON THE GRASSY KNOLL