March 17, 2014

Burger Boy to reopen

53-year-old diner temporarily closed its doors

By R. Scott Belzer
Staff Writer


London and Laurel County residents know the name Burger Boy and what it means to the local community.

Unfortunately, many also know the local diner has closed its doors – but only temporarily. Diner regulars, enthusiasts and curious onlookers can rest assured that Burger Boy could potentially be making a comeback over the next few months.

Owner Robbie Ramsey has ran Burger Boy for the past 37 years; the local diner has been in his family for more than 50 years. However, a few years ago, Ramsey decided to hang up his hat and “try his hand at retirement,” selling the business on a land contract.

“Things were going alright for about a year and a half, but the new owners are about three months behind on their rent,” Ramsey said. “And from what I’ve gathered, they’ve fallen far behind on their taxes. I heard they just hired the wrong people.”

Under a land contract, a buyer can purchase a property from a seller by paying in installments. Ramsey has remained the lien holder, holding the business as collateral just in case the current owners couldn’t handle Burger Boy financially. Since that has proven to be the case, Ramsey vows to get the community hangout back to its once revered standing.

“We started the process of foreclosure in the middle of February. The current owners have a certain number of days to give a response,” Ramsey said. “Depending on what they say, the process could take a couple of weeks to six months. It all depends on if they want to fight it.”

Attempts made by newsroom staff to contact the land contract owners were unsuccessful.

Charles Pennington Jr., is one of the many regulars that frequented Burger Boy’s booths, breakfast plates, and coffee cups on an almost daily basis.

“If it opens back up, I’ll be a customer,” Pennington said. “There’s about half a dozen of us that would go there every morning for our daily coffee before work. We were there until the day it closed.”

Pennington and others used Burger Boy as a meeting place to discuss everything from the weather to politics. Members of the group have confessed to rowdy debates as well as telling their wives they’re heading into work early just to attend.

In other words, Burger Boy is still strong in the hearts and minds of London residents. Hopefully, they won’t have to wait much longer to refill their cups of coffee and continue the conversation.