Blake's Lotaburger

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Blake's Lotaburger
Privately held
IndustryFast food restaurant
FoundedAlbuquerque, New Mexico, 1952 (1952)
FounderBlake Chanslor
Albuquerque, New Mexico
United States
Number of locations
Area served
New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona
Key people
Ronald C. Rule (CEO)[1]
ProductsGreen Chile Cheeseburgers, Hamburgers, french fries, chili, hot dogs, and soft drinks

Blake's Lotaburger (often shortened to either Blake's or Lotaburger) is a fast casual chain based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Blake's has 75 locations, mostly located in New Mexico; however, there are several locations in Tucson, Arizona and El Paso, Texas[2]

All Lotaburger restaurants are company-owned. Blake's Lotaburger also owns the majority of the property that its stores are built on and the company's construction division oversees the development of all new stores. Blake's owns and operates its own sheet metal shop, refrigeration shop, cabinet shop, vehicle shop, maintenance fleet, and commissary.

The traditional signage out front is the "Blake's Man", a 10-to-15-foot-tall (3.0 to 4.6 m) man with blue poles for legs, a blue hat and bowtie, and a jacket with white and red stripes.[3] It holds a sign bearing the Blake's name.


Blake's Lotaburger was founded by World War II Navy Veteran Blake Chanslor, who moved from Texas to Albuquerque, New Mexico after World War II.[4] Chanslor opened his first "Lota Burger" stand on July 9, 1952. His initial investment in the business was $5,300, and his stand was 230 square feet (21 m2), on the corner of San Mateo and Southern, in southeast Albuquerque. In 1953, he opened two more stores.[5][6]

Chanslor expanded Lotaburger to 23 cities in New Mexico, with 35 stores in Albuquerque. Chanslor remained the owner until 2003, when he sold his interest to the father-son team of Ronald C. and Brian Rule.[7] The restaurants are known as Blake's Lotaburger.[when?] As of 2018, the company owns and operates 75 stores.[8]

In the 1990s, the company featured television commercial personality Ernest P. Worrell, played by Jim Varney, in many of its television ads.[citation needed]

According to the Albuquerque Journal in 1994, Lotaburger helped popularize the use of green chiles as a condiment on hamburgers.[9] In 2006, the company was recognized by National Geographic for the “Best Green Chile Cheeseburger in the World".[10] In 2009, the New Mexico Tourism Department listed the restaurants as one of the state's destinations on the Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail.[11][12]

In June 2013, the company announced it would open its first Texas location would open that fall on El Paso's west side.[13][14] A second El Paso location opened in June 2014 on the city's east side. As of 2018, there are currently 3 locations in El Paso.

The company announced plans in early 2015 to expand to Tucson, Arizona.[15] Two locations opened in April and June 2017, followed by a third location in January 2018.

In 2017, Blake's Lotaburger became the first New Mexico True Certified Business in the state of New Mexico.[16]


Blake's signature menu items are the LOTA and ITSA Burgers, which are commonly ordered with cheese and Hatch green chile added.[17] The ITSA Burger is smaller in size to the namesake LOTA Burger, but is otherwise identical. In 2006 it was named the best burger in the world by National Geographic.[17]

Blake's also serves a variety of other foods, including: Nathan's Famous hot dogs, chili con carne, chicken sandwich and award-winning breakfast burritos.[18]

There are also rotating seasonal menu items, such as the Fish Basket and Fish Sandwich. Both are offered in the late winter-early spring during the Lenten season (Ash Wednesday through Easter Sunday). Blake's is also known for its unique, limited-time, featured shakes. Flavors have included Pumpkin Pie, Biscochito, Birthday Cake, Cherry White Chocolate, Green Chile Lime and more

Community Relations[edit]

An older location in Santa Fe

Blake's Lotaburger is a long-time supporter of the Special Olympics in New Mexico. The 2018 season marks a 22-year history with the organization.[19]

They also participate in KOAT Channel 7's “KOATS for Kids” program which has donated over 300,000 coats to children and families in need. During the late-fall, customers are encouraged to donate their new and used coats in stores throughout the state of New Mexico.[20]


  • In 2009, Blake's Lotaburger was awarded "Best Burger" and "Best French Fries" in the Weekly Alibi.[21]
  • National Geographic in 2006, considered Blake's as having the “Best Green Chile Cheeseburger in the World".[10] In June 2012, it also ranked Blake's Lotaburger fourth on its 10 Best Hamburgers list.[22][23][24]
  • In 2009, Blake's Lotaburger was awarded “Best Burger” and “Best French Fries” in the Weekly Alibi's “Best of Burque” Awards. Blake's was again voted “Best Burger,” “Best French Fries” and “Best Green Chile Cheeseburger” in 2017.
  • In 2016, Blake's was voted “Best Green Chile Cheeseburger in New Mexico” in the USA Today's 10 Best Readers’ Choice contest.
  • In 2016, Blake's was voted “Best Green Chile Cheeseburger,” “Best French Fries” and “ Best Breakfast Burrito” in the Albuquerque Journal's Annual Readers’ Choice Awards.
  • In 2016, Blake's was voted “Best Green Chile Cheeseburger” and “Best French Fries” in Albuquerque Magazine's annual Best of City contest.
  • In 2016, Blake's Lotaburger was voted “Best Burger” and “Best Green Chile Cheeseburger” in the University of New Mexico Daily Lobo Lo Mejor Survey.
  • In 2017, Blake's Lotaburger was voted “Best Burger” and “Best Green Chile Cheeseburger” in the Albuquerque Journal's Annual Readers’ Choice Awards.
  • In 2017, Blake's was voted “Best Green Chile Cheeseburger” and “Best Breakfast Burrito” in Albuquerque Magazine's annual Best of City contest.
  • In 2017, Blake's Lotaburger was voted “Best Breakfast Burrito” in The Gallup Journey's Best of Gallup Contest.
  • In 2017, Blake's Lotaburger was voted “Best Burger” and “Best Green Chile Cheeseburger” in the University of New Mexico Daily Lobo Lo Mejor Survey.[25]
  • In 2017, Blake's was voted “Best Green Chile Cheeseburger,” “Best Burger” and “Best French Fries” in The Weekly Alibi's Best of Burque Restaurants.[26]
  • In 2017, Blake's was voted one of Santa Fe's “Best Breakfast Burritos” and “Best Burgers” in the SF Reporter's “Best of Santa Fe”[27]
  • In 2017, Blake's was voted “Best Breakfast Burrito” in the Valencia County News Bulletin's Best of Valencia County 2017.[28]


In 2008, Blake's President Brian Rule donated $10,000 to support California Proposition 8, which temporarily banned gay marriage in California. In response, some marriage equality supporters have boycotted the restaurant.[29][30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Blake's Lotaburger Inc | Restaurant List". Retrieved 2017-12-09.
  2. ^ "Locations". Blake's Lotaburger. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  3. ^ "Burger joints dotted Phoenix landscape in 1950s, '60s". azcentral. September 19, 2014. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
  4. ^ "New Mexico burger baron opened his first Blake's Lotaburger in '53". Denver Post. Associated Press. 2009-04-16. Retrieved 2009-04-18.
  5. ^ The original LOTA combo consisted of a burger and a bag of potato chips. Soda was available at a vending machine adjacent to the building. Murphy, Dan (1985). New Mexico, the distant land: an illustrated history. photo research by John O. Baxter (1985 ed.). Northridge, CA: Windsor Publications. p. 164. ISBN 978-0-89781-119-4.
  6. ^ "Blake's Lotaburger". Blake's Lotaburger LLC. Retrieved 2009-04-23.
  7. ^ "Blake's Lotaburger Sold". Albuquerque Journal. 2003-07-08. Archived from the original on 2008-09-29. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
  8. ^ "Locations". Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  9. ^ "Albuquerque Journal Business Outlook". Albuquerque Journal. 1994-05-08. p. 4. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  10. ^ a b "National Geographic Passport to the Best The 10 Best of Everything". National Geographic. 2006-03-21. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  11. ^ "New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail". New Mexico Tourism Department. Archived from the original on 2009-12-08. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
  12. ^ Husson, Amanda. "Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail guides visitors to flavorful hotspots". Las-Cruces Sun News. Media News group. Archived from the original on 2009-12-12. Retrieved 2009-12-08.
  13. ^ "Expansion's on the front burner for Blake's hamburger chain". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved 2013-06-28.
  14. ^ "NM chain Blake's Lotaburger to open in West El Paso this fall". El Paso Times and MediaNews Group. Archived from the original on 2013-06-29. Retrieved 2013-06-28.
  15. ^ "Blake's Lotaburger to open first Tucson location". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  16. ^ "Blake's Lotaburger". New Mexico True. New Mexico True. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  17. ^ a b "Blake's Lotaburger celebrates 65th birthday". Alamogordo Daily News. July 4, 2017. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
  18. ^ "Blake's Lotaburger Menu". Blake's Lotaburger. Blake's Lotaburger. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  19. ^ "Special Olympics New Mexico". Special Olympics New Mexico. Archived from the original on May 14, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
  20. ^ Green, Eric. "Local favorite 'Blakes Lotaburger' helps with KOATs for Kids". KOAT. KOAT. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  21. ^ "This Week's Feature". Weekly Alibi. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
  22. ^ "America's 10 Best Burgers, According To National Geographic". The Huffington Post. 2012-06-26. Retrieved 2012-06-27.
  23. ^ Laflin, Nancy. "NM burger named one of the best in U.S." LIN Television Corporation. Archived from the original on 2012-06-29. Retrieved 2012-06-27.
  24. ^ "Nat Geo: Blake's 4th Best Burger in U.S." Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved 2012-06-27.
  25. ^ Issu. New Mexico Daily Lobo Retrieved 22 February 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  26. ^ Babb, Robin. "Dine In, Speak Out". Weekly Alibi. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  27. ^ "BOSF 2017: Food and Drink". Santa Fe Reporter. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  28. ^ "2017 Best of Valencia County Best Food". Valencia County News Bulletin.
  29. ^ "Prop. 8 supporters rally big bucks in New Mexico". Santa Fe New Mexican. 2008-11-17. Archived from the original on 2012-09-09. Retrieved 2008-11-19.
  30. ^ "Proposition 8 Contributions". San Francisco Chronicle. 2008-11-10. Retrieved 2008-11-11.[dead link]

External links[edit]