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Downtown 1958

Downtown 1958

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

New Taste Delight

June 4, 1965, Neenah-Menasha Northwestern
 
While technically just across the "border" in Neenah, I think few of us would quibble about including this establishment in a blog about Menasha.   Robby's was a chain of hamburger restaurants based in Wisconsin and quite popular for its time.  What fascinated me most as a kid was that Green Bay Packer fullback Jim Grabowski was a Vice President of the chain.  He appeared in many of their advertisements, as evidenced below. At their peak, there were at least 13 Wisconsin locations as well as five in Minnesota and two more in Michigan. But they went out of business in the '70s.  It was around this time that I heard rumors that their product was, shall we say, of an equine nature?  Was this the main reason they closed shop, or was it generally due to the beef shortages that plagued the food industry in the early '70s?  One theory is that the meat crisis was caused by, of all things, a massive reduction in the population of anchovies living off the coast of South America. As these tiny fish migrated elsewhere, farmers who relied on them for animal feed had to pay ever-increasing prices, driving up the cost of beef. This, in turn, led to black market butchers, runs on beef supplies, and the rise of pasta as a main dish for many families. Others blame a lag in grain production which was a vital component of animal feed at the same time as demands mounted for more beef.  In time, of course, meat supplies stabilized and prices dropped, but the damage had been done.  And when the smoke cleared, smaller restaurant chains, like Robby's, were the victims.

December 6, 1969, Appleton Post-Crescent

4 comments:

  1. Sometimes after church, when we had enough money, our family would stop at Robby's for lunch. Usually when the burgers were on special for 10c. I could care less if they were from the front leg of an old nag or veal tenderloin. I loved them. We would sit in the car and eat in the parking lot. I liked that place but not as much as Dave's Burger Shanty.

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  2. I agree with Don Nussbaum. Robby's could have made those burgers from rancid snake meat. As long as we could eat in the car, it tasted great.

    Speaking of Dave's burger shanty, I always thought it was called Dave's because David Galassie ate the most burgers and fries of any kid in Menasha.

    Other burger chains in the FRV - Henry's, Mars, Scotty's, ?? Anyone else??

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  3. I LOVED the Dandy! The closest I've found since Robby's went away is the Tominator, but it's still not a Dandy. Did we ever have a Burger-Chef around here?

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  4. I think Mars was in that same building, or at least the same location. I also liked Big Boy in Appleton but that was a little later. The best burgers by far though, are/were Mihms and Rudy's/CJ's in Neenah.

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