Wilson's Sandwich Shop

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Wilson's Inc Of Findlay, Ohio
Wilson's Hamburger Shop
Typeprivate corporation
IndustryFast Food
Founded1936; 87 years ago (1936)
FounderHoyt “Stub” F. Wilson
United States
Number of locations
Key people
  • Pat Baker
  • (Former President)[1]
Productshamburgers, malts, hot dogs[2][3]
  • Pat Baker (Former)
  • Pam Balmer
  • Mary Ann Cramer
  • Wilbur Fenbert (Former)[4]
Number of employees

Wilson's Sandwich Shop is a restaurant located in Findlay, OH[1] founded by the owner of the Kewpee Hamburger restaurant in Lima, OH.[5] It is a local institution with people going there to get in touch with the community with it being a regular stop for local Courier reporters getting "man-on-the-street perspectives". Various famous people and politicians have visited including singer Johnny Mathis, U.S. Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, and former Vice President Dan Quayle.[6]


In 1936 with a Kewpee already located in Findlay, Ohio, Hoyt “Stub” Wilson, the Lima Kewpee licensee, opened a restaurant there called Wilson's Sandwich Shop.[5] The original building was yellow and narrow as a subway car. It was example of the "enamel steel road food culture" and could host 32 people. Due to World War II meat rationing, all three of Hoyt Wilson's restaurants added the "Veggie", a special without the meat patty and a historically notable vegetable sandwich.[7]

Wilson's estate sold ownership in the 1960s to three managers: Wilbur Fenbert, Harold "Lance" Baker and Woodie Curtis[6][7] with the Lima Kewpees going to their manager.[7] In the middle of that same decade, a new building was constructed.[4][7] The original building stayed open by being moved to the back of the lot.[7] With the deaths of Baker and Curtis, their spouses took over their ownership interests. In 2008, then vice presidential candidate Joe Biden stopped there while on the campaign trail.[6]

Wilson's faced possible closure in 2009 with the downturn in the economy and Occupational Safety and Health Administration fines over their hamburger patty molding machine potentially pinching operators, and electrical shock or electrocution. With training and safety precautions not affordable, the then manager Mike Fenbert ceased using the machine and moved to purchase premade patties.[6] By March 2010, A new patty machine was purchased to make the patties in house once again.[2]

By 2011, Maxie Curtis was replaced as an owner by Pam Balmer and her sister, Mary Ann Cramer, joining the other two co-owners.[4] By May 2015, the menu was changed with shredded chick, pulled pork and salad (including slaw) were removed while adding breakfast items and the Wilson Dog dropped the slaw.[3]

In February 2016 Wilbur Fenbert died.[8]

In August 2019 Pat Baker died.[9]


  1. ^ a b c "Wilson's Sandwich Shop Profile". Manta Company profiles. Manta Media. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  2. ^ a b Wilin, Lou (March 2, 2010). "Wilson's not closing, co-owner maintains". Findlay Courier. Archived from the original on March 3, 2010. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Wilson's Listed As An Iconic Ohio Burger Joint". WFIN. Blanchard River Broadcasting Company. May 15, 2015. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Cravens, Jordan (August 8, 2011). "Seven decades of sizzling". Findlay Courier. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
  5. ^ a b Mike Lackey (2008-05-24). "Final words (maybe) on a few recent topics". Lima Ohio.com. Freedom Communications, Inc. Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
  6. ^ a b c d Lou Wilin (30 December 2009). "No hamburgs? Manager says Wilson's in peril". Courier. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  7. ^ a b c d e Motz, George (2011). "28: Ohio". Hamburger America: Completely Revised and Updated Edition: A State-by-State Guide to 150 Great Burger Joints (revised ed.). Running Press. ISBN 978-0762442348. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  8. ^ "Kirkpatrick-Behnke Funeral Home Inc | Findlay, OH Funeral Home & Cremation".
  9. ^ "Crates Funeral & Cremation Services | Findlay, Arlington, North Baltimore & Kenton OH Funeral Home & Cremation".