Drive-in burgers were once synonymous with freshly ground, high-quality beef. Today, mass-production often results in tasteless, dry patties. Since it’s inception in 1959, CHAR-GRILL has set itself apart from the competition by maintaining the flair and quality of small-town drive-ins and by providing great food and great service at a great price.
A North Carolina original, CHAR-GRILL first opened its doors on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh in a small, cinderblock building. The aroma of charcoal grilling, the delicious, flame-cooked taste of the meat, and the déjà vu feel of the interior’s red, white, and black coloring made loyal patrons out of NC State college students and Capital City politicians alike.
For more than 50 years, Char-Grill has maintained the vision of quality upon which its creator and original owner, Bruce Garner, founded the restaurant on Hillsborough Street. In fact, Garner commissioned former restaurant supplier Montgomery Green to engineer a grill to his precise specifications.
In 1961, Garner’s son-in-law took over the management, and in 1973, Atlantic Christian College graduate Mahlon Aycock and student Ryon Wilder re-opened the restaurant at its current site. Aycock and Wilder’s vision of made-to-order burgers was integral to the restaurant’s rising popularity and its eventual expansion as a franchise, and they instituted the unique form of ordering that is still observed in CHAR-GRILL restaurants today. CHAR-GRILL patrons fill out simple order forms and slide it through a window slot as they observe their burgers sizzling on a charcoal grill through a large, plate-glass window.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the Raleigh original restaurant’s popularity expanded through word-of-mouth advertising alone. Following repeated requests for more neighborhood CHAR-GRILL, especially from devoted NC State students, new locations were opened on Edwards Mill Road in Old Raleigh Village, Atlantic Avenue, and Strickland Road. The first CHAR-GRILL franchise was opened in 2007 in Cary, and a second soon followed in Durham in 2008.
CHAR-GRILL’s accolades have mounted from customers and both local and national critics, including being named a “Best Burger Joint” by USA Today and voted best hamburger by City Search and AOL’s City Guide.
From All-American favorites such as their famous “grilled-in-your-backyard”, char-rock, flame-cooked burgers and too-thick-to pour milkshakes to mouth-watering French fries and crisp apple turnovers, CHAR-GRILL serves up quality menu items at affordable prices.
The Triangle’s longtime dining icon is expanding to the Queen City in 2011, with its first store opening in the charming college town of Davidson, North Carolina. The Davidson restaurant, located in Davidson Commons off Griffith and Jetton streets, will be CHAR-GRILL’s ninth location.
Whether you are a longtime Tar Heel state resident or out-of-towner, visit the new Davidson Commons CHAR-GRILL to experience that flame cooked, CHAR-GRILL taste that has kept folks coming back for generations.