|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 74 locations. Sixty-nine 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. 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. It holds a sign bearing the Blake's name.
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 2017, the company owned and operated 74 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.
Blake's signature menu item is the Lotaburger, which is commonly ordered with cheese and green chile added. In 2017 it was named the best burger in the world by National Geographic. Other products include the smaller Itsaburger, various styles of hot dogs, sandwiches, chili bowls, and chili Frito pies. Some Lotaburger stores also have a breakfast menu which includes breakfast sandwiches and several types of breakfast burritos. A unique green and red sauce made from New Mexico green chiles can be added to the breakfast burritos.
- 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.
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.
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- "Nat Geo: Blake's 4th Best Burger in U.S". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved 2012-06-27.
- "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.
- "Proposition 8 Contributions". San Francisco Chronicle. 2008-11-10. Retrieved 2008-11-11.[dead link]