Nation's Giant Hamburgers

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"Nation's" redirects here. For other uses, see Nation (disambiguation).
Nation's Giant Hamburgers
Type Nation’s Foodservice, Inc.
Private
Founded San Pablo, California, USA (1952)
Headquarters 11090 San Pablo Avenue, Suite 200
El Cerrito, California, 94530-2365
(510) 237-1952
Area served Northern California
Key people President and CEO: Dale Power
VP: Grant Power[1]
Website NationsRestaurants.com
Outside of Nation's in El Cerrito, California

Nation's Giant Hamburgers, or simply Nation's, is a privately held El Cerrito, California-based fast food diner chain.

The chain, founded in 1952, largely operates in the San Francisco Bay Area.[2] The majority (87.5%) of locations are focused in the suburban Greater East Bay; consisting of Alameda, Contra Costa, and Solano counties. [3]

History[edit]

Harvey's Giant Hamburgers[edit]

Russ Harvey bought a six-stool hot dog stand on San Pablo Ave, where it meets with the end of San Pablo Dam Rd. in 1952 with money he obtained through the sale of his 1948 Buick.[2] He subsequently added hamburgers to the menu of the hot dog restaurant with a focus on large portions.[2] This gastronomic decision proved successful with the clientele. The restaurant's name was changed to Harvey's Giant Hamburgers.[2]

Dale Power[edit]

In 1961 local teenager Dale Power was hired as a janitor and continued his employment from high school to bachelor's and master's degrees at the nearby University of California, Berkeley.[2] In 1970 he purchased his first restaurant in the Jack London Square District in neighboring Oakland.[2]

Partnership and expansion[edit]

He christened it Nation's; the name was decided upon under the belief that they sold the best hamburgers in the nation.[2] At this point Russ Harvey changed the name of his restaurant to Nation's as the two men became partners under a unified brand.[2]

More items were added to the menu over time including breakfast, lunch, and dinner items and award winning pies.[2]

Currently Power remains with the company as CEO and president, while Harvey has retired.[2] The company has expanded to 24 locations as of 2009 with eateries in six counties.[3]

Remodeling[edit]

Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s Nation's remodeled its restaurants with long hanging lights, Thomas McKnight lithographs alongside historical photographs of the individual restaurants' neighborhoods, a tangerine, mocha, and beige color scheme, in addition to new easier to read menus.[4]

Front counter of El Cerrito, California location.

Locations[edit]

The chain has eight locations in Alameda County with branches in: Alameda, Berkeley, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Oakland, Pleasanton and San Leandro.[3] There are four in Solano County with branches in Benicia, Fairfield, Vacaville and Vallejo.[3]

Furthermore, there are ten locations in Contra Costa County including: Concord, El Cerrito, Moraga, Orinda, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, San Ramon, San Pablo, Tara Hills (an unincorporated area), and Brentwood, which opened in October 2010. The original San Pablo location is no longer open, and the current San Pablo Nation's is located at San Pablo Avenue and San Pablo Dam Road.[3]

There are single store locations in three other Bay Area counties: Daly City in San Mateo County, which is the only Nation's in the San Francisco Peninsula, Napa in the county by the same name, and a distant restaurant in the Central Valley city of Tracy in San Joaquin County.[3]

Finally, expansion has brought the chain out of the Bay Area and into the Sacramento Valley. Opening a location on Sunrise Blvd., Citrus Heights in May 2012, followed by a location in Folsom, which opened in May 2013.[3]

2011 Oakland Raiders lawsuit[edit]

During the 2011 Oakland Raiders season, Nation's was one of the Raiders' sponsors during home games. In a game played in December of that year, the franchise adopted a slogan "When hunger strikes, raid a Nation's", a play on the "Raider Nation", a nickname for the Raiders' fanbase. A lawsuit ensued, with the Raiders claiming that the term "Raider Nation" was a trademark.

Menu[edit]

The "giant" burgers although credited for weighing 3/4 pounds (0.34 kg) and tasting good have been criticized for most of their 3/4 lbs. coming from the vegetable toppings.[5] These burgers offer toppings including, cheese, beef, salmon, lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, onions, and Miracle Whip. Other sandwiches include BLTs, hot dogs and variants such as chili dogs, egg, sausage, bacon, and hashbrown breakfasts. The chain also offers sodas, coffee, tea, milkshakes, and about a dozen types of pie.[6]

References[edit]

External images
First Nation's in San Pablo
Vintage appearance of Oakland location
Nation's waitresses, c 1960s
  1. ^ http://www.ifmaworld.com/docs/coex/CX09O.pdf
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Company Information, NationsRestaurants.com, access date 13-03-2009
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Nation's Restaurant Location List, NationsRestaurants.com, access date 13-03-2009
  4. ^ Nation's Cook up whole new look, Contra Costa Sun, March 20, 1996, access date 13-03-2009
  5. ^ Sweet pies are the real stars at Bay Area fast-food franchise, by Jack Turner, March 10, 2009, access date 13-03-2009
  6. ^ Menu, NationsRestaurants.com, access date 13-03-2009

External links[edit]