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Burger Boy celebrates 50 years

CARIBOU, Maine — For over 50 years, Burger Boy has been offering a variety of summer meals and ice cream to patrons from Caribou and beyond.

In keeping with the restaurant’s mid-20th century motif, Burger Boy’s 50th anniversary celebration on Saturday, Sept. 8, featured a classic 1960’s menu, with french fries, hot dogs, and root beer floats, all on sale for under one dollar. The parking lot was full of games, face painting, hula hoopers, a bounce castle, and music from Jerry T. and French Toast, who played hits from the 50s and 60s.

Burger Boy owner Spenser Ouellette said the restaurant’s staff of 15 to 18 employees played a significant role in helping to make sure the celebration ran smoothly, adding that members of the Aroostook Roller Derby also helped out in an effort to raise money for the team.

“It’s definitely a busy night,” Ouellette said Saturday in the crowded restaurant, adding that he and staff were anticipating hundreds of guests.

Macie Laplante of Caribou said the restaurant has been “a neighborhood staple since 1968,” and that it has kept its “original charm throughout the years. She said her favorite offering at the eatery is the “hard ice cream.”

“It took a lot of work to put this together,” Laplante said, “and a lot of collaborations with different people. It’s going well so far.”

Jen Olson, also of Caribou, whose Roller Derby alias is “Morticia,” said one of her first memories of Burger Boy was going with her grandmother and sister.

“My sister used to order the biggest ice cream she could,” said Olson,” just to get the cherry. Then she’d throw the rest away and say it was spoiled.”

Olson’s favorite ice cream at Burger Boy is the Caribou mud, with peanut butter and chocolate being the primary ingredients. Her favorite dish is the “Whistle Dog,” which she describes as a red hot dog sliced down the middle and filled with cheese and deep fried bacon.

“There have been some small changes to Burger Boy throughout the years,” Olson said, “but for the most part it’s still the same since I was a kid. We always have our first ice cream when they open for the year, and then supper on the night they close.”

Looking ahead, Ouellette said he sees the restaurant staying open for another 50 years. Since taking over in 2012, he has worked to both increase business hours and to keep the restaurant open for a longer season. Traditionally, the place has been closed on Mondays, and closed for the season around Labor Day, whereas he keeps it open on Mondays, and from early March to October.

When they close for the winter this year, Ouellette plans to fine tune the menu and work on some interior renovations.

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