|Founded||Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1952|
|Headquarters||Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States|
Number of locations
|New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona|
|Ronald C. Rule (CEO)|
|Products||Hamburgers, french fries, chili, hot dogs, and soft drinks|
Blake's Lotaburger (often shortened to either Blake's or Lotaburger) is a fast food chain based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Blake's has 78 locations. Seventy-three are in New Mexico, three are in Texas and two are in Arizona.
All Lotaburger stores are company-owned. Blake's Lotaburger also owns the majority of the property that its stores are built on, and the stores are built by the company's construction division. Blake's owns and operates its own sheet metal shop, refrigeration shop, cabinet shop, vehicle shop, maintenance fleet, and commissary.
Despite some modernization, the food at Lotaburger is still cooked to order, resulting in what might be considered slow service by fast food standards.
Blake's Lotaburger was founded by Blake Chanslor, who moved from Texas to Albuquerque, New Mexico after World War II. 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.
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. The restaurants are known as Blake’s Lotaburger.[when?] As of 2013, the company owned and operated 76 stores.
According to the Albuquerque Journal in 1994, Lotaburger helped popularize the use of green chiles as a condiment on hamburgers. In 2006, the company was recognized by National Geographic for the “Best Green Chile Cheeseburger in the World". In 2009, the New Mexico Tourism Department listed the restaurants as one of the state's destinations on the Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail.
In June 2013, the company announced it would open its first Texas location would open that fall on El Paso's west side. A second El Paso location opened in June 2014 on the city's east sid. The company announced plans in early 2015 to expand to Tucson, Arizona, and is currently building its first location there..
Blake's signature menu item is the Lotaburger, which is commonly ordered with cheese and green chile added. Other offerings include the smaller Itsaburger, as well as hot dogs, corn dogs, cheese dogs, chili dogs, chili cheese dogs, chili bowls, and chili Frito pies. Sandwiches include breaded chicken, turkey breast, barbecue beef, and Halibut fish. Also offered are chicken tenders with barbecue sauce or ranch dressing, fries, seasoned fries, chili cheese fries, onion rings, and milkshakes. Brownies were recently added[when?].
Some Lotaburger stores also have a breakfast menu which includes breakfast sandwiches and several types of breakfast burritos. Fresh eggs are used in the breakfast sandwiches and burritos and the customer can choose between Blake’s special red or green chile sauce.
Blake’s also caters onsite with offerings from the regular and breakfast menu, including fruit platters, scrambled eggs, French toast, and pancakes. The food is typically prepared on site, but breakfast burritos can be pre-made upon request.
The green chile, a defining ingredient in New Mexican cuisine, can be ordered as an addition to any menu item. A special green and red sauce made from New Mexico green chiles can be added to the breakfast burritos.
Blake's stores feature a red and white color scheme and older stores often have an outdoor seating area with red and white striped umbrellas. A few of the earliest Lotaburger stores were walk-up stands with outdoor tables only, but the majority have an inside seating area. Most newer stores also have a drive-through. 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 white and red striped jacket, and a blue hat and bowtie. He holds a sign bearing the Blake's name.
In 2008, Blake's owner Brian Rule donated $10,000 to support California Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California. In response, some gay marriage activists have boycotted the restaurant.
- In 2009, Blake's Lotaburger was awarded "Best Burger" and "Best French Fries" in the Weekly Alibi.
- National Geographic in 2006, considered Blake's as having the “Best Green Chile Cheeseburger in the World". In June 2012, it also ranked Blake's Lotaburger fourth on its 10 Best Hamburgers list.
- "Locations". Blake's Lotaburger. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
- "New Mexico burger baron opened his first Blake's Lotaburger in '53". Associated Press (Denver Post). 2009-04-16. Retrieved 2009-04-18.
- 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.
- "Blake's Lotaburger". Blake's Lotaburger LLC. Retrieved 2009-04-23.
- "Blake's Lotaburger Sold.". Albuquerque Journal. 2003-07-08. Archived from the original on 2008-09-29. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
- "Locations" (PDF). Lotaburger.com. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
- "Albuquerque Journal Business Outlook". Albuquerque Journal. 1994-05-08. p. 4.
- "National Geographic Passport to the Best The 10 Best of Everything". National Geographic. 2006-03-21.
- "New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail". New Mexico Tourism Department. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
- 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.
- "Expansion’s on the front burner for Blake’s hamburger chain". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved 2013-06-28.
- "NM chain Blake's Lotaburger to open in West El Paso this fall". El Paso Times and MediaNews Group. Retrieved 2013-06-28.
- "Blake's Lotaburger to open first Tucson location". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
- "Special Olympics New Mexico". Special Olympics New Mexico. Archived from the original on May 14, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- "Prop. 8 supporters rally big bucks in New Mexico". Santa Fe New Mexican. 2008-11-17. Retrieved 2008-11-19.
- "Propostion 8 Contributions". San Francisco Chronicle. 2008-11-10. Retrieved 2008-11-11.[dead link]
- "This Week's Feature". Weekly Alibi. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
- "America's 10 Best Burgers, According To National Geographic". The Huffington Post. 2012-06-26. Retrieved 2012-06-27.
- Laflin, Nancy. "NM burger named one of the best in U.S.". LIN Television Corporation. Retrieved 2012-06-27.
- "Nat Geo: Blake's 4th Best Burger in U.S.". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved 2012-06-27.