I can has cheezburger? Squeeze Inn holds grand reopening
Loosen your belts. Sacramento’s most famous burger place, The Squeeze Inn, held its grand reopening celebration Thursday morning.
The celebration featured guest appearances by Mayor Kevin Johnson, City Councilman Kevin McCarty and County Supervisor Don Nottoli as well as music, speeches, a raffle and a burger-eating contest. Several hundred people shuffled into The Squeeze Inn throughout the lunch hour for special prices on the burger known for its famous "cheese skirt," which extends an inch beyond the bun.
The burger is constructed by cooking a one-third-pound beef patty and putting "a giant handful of cheese" on top of, and around, the burger, said Squeeze Inn employee Keith Lenhart. Then an ice cube is placed on the grill while the cheesy patties are topped with a lid, creating a steam chamber for the cheese to melt quickly.
"We go through about 200 to 300 pounds of cheese per day," said employee Charles Rogers.
"And about 270 pounds of potatoes," added Lenhart.
Lenhart, who said he has been eating at the Squeeze Inn for 15 years, only recently started working there a few months ago. Now, he and Rogers are in the process of opening a new Squeeze Inn on the corner of Sunrise Avenue and Douglas Boulevard in Roseville next month.
With locations in Sacramento, Galt and Napa, a Roseville location would be the fourth for the Squeeze Inn, which originally opened in Sacramento 34 years ago.
"This is the perfect location," Lenhart said of the burger joint’s new digs on Power Inn Road in Sacramento. "I love it. It helps serve the people better, and (soon) we will get this great product out there in Roseville."
After being featured on Food Network’s "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives," hosted by Guy Fieri, the restaurant gained national fame. It was later mentioned on "Good Morning America" and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."
It also gained notoriety for not being in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. After several lawsuits, the Squeeze Inn moved to its new location.
"We (would have) had to make changes to the restaurant that would destroy the character, so we decided to move to another location," said owner Travis Hausauer. "The great people of Sacramento gave us wonderful support, and it was amazing what everybody did for us. We’re really happy with the location, and we hope to have another 34 years here."
Now larger and wheelchair-accessible, the new location still retains the feel of the old restaurant. It incorporates the entire front entrance, all the bar stools and many of the decorations from the old location.
Michael Whipple, a Certified Access specialist for ADA Resource Associates and wheelchair user, said the old Squeeze Inn location had some wheelchair accessible seating. Although he doesn’t eat burgers for health reasons, he helped plan the new location to make sure everything from the entrance to tables to the bathroom, were completely accessible.
He presented Hausauer with a plaque to put in the window. It certified that the restaurant is now fully accessible.