Burger Palace celebrates 20 years
Visitors to the Burger Palace in Alton were treated to special deals on food items including corn dog, small fries, kiddy ice cream cone or a small drink for $.20 or a $1 for a small milkshake. as well as free cake and brownies on Wednesday, Aug. 1, as the restaurant celebrated a special milestone, its 20th year in serving the community its signature milkshakes and burgers.
When it opened in 1998, the restaurant was the only burger place in Alton and was co-owned by Gerald Andrews and DeWayne (Troy) Sisco.
In the early days, DeWayne would open the store in the mornings and Gerald would close in the evenings. And Gerald would also take off in the summer to tend to his farm.
In 1999, the house next to the restaurant caught fire and the fire department had to spray the walls of the Burger Palace to keep it from catching fire. Also, that year, Gerald received a liver transplant, but continued to farm and run the restaurant.
In 2000, Gerald became the sole owner when he bought out DeWayne’s part and ran the restaurant full-time until 2013. Despite other health issues including open heart surgery, a kidney transplant and a mini stroke, Gerald persevered and continued working to serve the community.
“It’s all about family,” said Pamela Charbauski, manager of the Burger Palace, and daughter of Andrews. She took over the business in 2013 due to Andrews’ health issues.
She helped with the restaurant since it was built in 1998, even while living in Springfield and attending college.
This family-oriented restaurant has many memories for Pamela, one of them she previously shared in Avenues, in which she remembered when her daughter Megan was a baby and “would go from table to table in her walker to the delight of diners.” Megan later became a cook at the diner.
Through the years, Gerald received support his family including his wife Linda and his mother Gelina Andrews.
“Through the years, I always remember dad being a hard worker. He farmed, built houses and barns and taught me and my family the value of integrity and always doing your best. He expected a lot and I appreciate that even more as a mother myself now,” said Pamela *from Avenues.
Appreciation was expressed for the community, school children who worked there and for all the support given through the years.
Pamela enjoys the opportunity to be with her family while running the restaurant. Even though it can be hectic, and she is required to be present more than the usual “clock in and clock out job,” Pamela is able to spend quality time with her children and be there when they need her.
Chabauski’s daughter, Abby, enjoys baking and they would like to incorporate this into the business eventually. She stated she enjoys carrying on what her father started and hopes to open one or two more Burger Palaces within the next few years.
The paintings of burgers and milkshakes on the windows are original.