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Once Upon a Time in Lubbock – Char-King

Credit: Kirk Ross
Credit: Kirk Ross

Being 40, I barely remember the Char-King, seeing as the last one closed in 1981. But this was a Lubbock tradition for over 20 years.

I had to talk to A LOT of relatives and older friends who had to tell me more about this long-gone landmark.

Credit: Ralph DeWitt
Credit: Ralph DeWitt

At their peak, Char-King had 4 locations, Quaker at Brownfield Highway, 117 University, 2406 34th, and 48th and Ave. Q.

Credit: Radio Personality Paul Ramone
Credit: Radio Personality Paul Ramone

They had seven basic burgers along with three Char-Dogs. And, according to my mother, the best fried apple and apricot pies you could get. And it was said they were made by hand!

But I keep hearing about the ‘Smoke Sauce.’

Credit: Sally Mitchell
Credit: Sally Mitchell

It was a hickory-type BBQ sauce that was heavy on the smoke flavor and that only The Brittany’s hickory sauce was close to it.

Of course, this was a drive-up burger joint; you could call in and pick up your order. Or in the alternative, drive-up, order, park and eat to your heart’s content.

It was also said you could smell Char-King from miles away.

Credit: David Beasly
The Char-King Sign From 48th and Ave. Q – Credit: David Beasly

Do you have fond memories of the Char-King? Let us know in the comments below!

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