After confusion spread on when Cheeburger Cheeburger will permanently shut down, the restaurant is now set to close on Sept. 30. The diner, which first opened in downtown Auburn in 1992, has served the area for more than 30 years.
“It was a tough decision,” said Don Doyle, Cheeburger Cheeburger's owner. He mentioned that rising food and labor costs have created an environment that was not viable for the restaurant to continue operating successfully.
Sept. 30 is currently a tentative date. The restaurant was previously prepared to close on Aug. 28, however, the purchase under contract has not yet been completed, and thus the closing date could still change.
“When I took over in 2017, it was going to go out of business. And so I took up that challenge of keeping Cheeburger Cheeburger alive,” Doyle said.
Major changes would have been necessary in order to stay open, according to Doyle.
“I would have had to find ways to tailor to the student demographic,” he said. “I would have had to go to less of a full-service model and go to more of a quick service model.”
The traditional demographic for Auburn’s Cheeburger Cheeburger has been focused on families and young professionals. However, the owner noted that the original key demographics are now more prone to avoiding downtown, especially during the fall.
Cheeburger Cheeburger’s atmosphere has proved to be a memorable place for some customers, as several traveled as far as Birmingham to visit one last time before the restaurant closed. A few customers even called Cheeburger Cheeburger crying when they heard the news.
The restaurant is known for its American cuisine, including burgers, onion rings and handspun milkshakes.
A Cheeburger Cheeburger hallmark, customers can take on the challenge of eating a one-pound burger in one sitting. Those who successfully finish the burger can find their picture among many on the walls of the restaurant.
Customers who have previously completed the challenge are encouraged to stop by and pick up their photo as a souvenir before Cheeburger Cheeburger’s closing.
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.
Caroline Mason, junior in professional flight, is a news writer at The Plainsman.