Home of the Huskee

The North Carolina-based fast food restaurant Hardees’s was launched in in September of 1960 by Wilbur Hardee. The chain of shops rapidly grew and many towns throughout the southeast would have one. Charlottesville was no exception.

20980002 - Version 2This photo shows the Hardee’s location on Emmet Street.

The distinct roof seen here was part of the original marketing and design of the Hardee’s buildings. The catch words and slogans (“Home of the Huskee” can be read at the very top of this sign) were also part of the branding.

According to the Wikipedia entry on Hardee’s: “Many original Hardee’s were built with a hexagonal style building with a pointed roof. In keeping with that theme, for a short period of time, Hardee’s hamburgers were actually hexagonal particularly the quarter-pound patties. Some early locations had lobbies, but almost all were fresco-walk-up style. As of 1965, franchisees had a choice of four different free-standing signs, with the “Home of the Huskee” slogan designated HH-1. Another promised “Jet Service – Charco Broiled” Burgers. Some were called Hardee’s L’il Chef with a little chef on the sign.”

The first Hardee’s store was in Rocky Mount North Carolina, located (ironically) on McDonald Street.

Wilbur Hardee lost the controlling interest in his business in a poker game with the winners building the business into a chain of nearly 2000 stores.

20980002In this wider view you can see the 250 overpass and Rt. 29 (Emmet St.)

photoToday this location is the AT&T store on Emmet.  If you drive around back you can see the remnants of the old Hardee’s roof.

20980014  Hardee’s Charlottesville store would later have this simpler sign and get competition on Emmet Street from Arby’s.

20980001Arby’s would boast it’s own distinctive roof line.

IMG_8032In this aerial view near Barracks Road, you can see the Arby’s restaurant survives while two doors up only the hexagonal roof of the Hardee’s remains.



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