Hot!Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question

Post
Ackman
Junior Burger
2012/02/10 13:54:02
The first and only time I've ever eaten there, was in 1994 in Waltham. I believe it was on either South Street or Moody Street. They had a big screen in the middle of the restaurant, and popcorn was brought to your table. I still remember what I ate: Chicken Fingers.
 
The second part of the question is this: I've been to STL many times(my mother lives out there.) There was a BBQ chain in St. Charles and Troy, that I believe was called Texas Willy's. I remember there was a location on Hwy 94 at Jungermann Road, and the other was in Troy on Main Street. Were there any other locations?
 
MetroplexJim
Sirloin
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2012/02/10 16:02:29
In the 1980's a lot of the Howard Johnson's painted their orange roofs brown and became "Ground Rounds".  Later, many of those became Applebee's.
SeamusD
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2012/02/10 16:12:43
We had one in my hometown for years, two blocks from my apartment. One of my roommates and a girlfriend worked there, so I was in there a lot. I can still remember how my girlfriend smelled when she'd get off work. We called it the "Round Ground" instead, not really sure why. I don't ever remember having a bad meal there, and a lot of people were upset when it closed. It's an OTB now.
fattybomatty
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2012/02/21 12:51:13
Popcorn on the tables, classic cartoons with no sound, and penny a pound night for kids. I still miss the ground round :-(
1bbqboy
Sirloin
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2012/02/21 13:58:26
St.L is "out there"? You easterners....:)
joerogo
Filet Mignon
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2012/02/21 14:59:12
1bbqboy
St.L is "out there"? You easterners....:)

 
Maybe his Mother lives at the airport.
jaylhorner
Cheeseburger
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2012/02/21 17:13:26
When my kids were young, I took them to the Ground Round because they had cartoons.  The sound was turned off.  I asked to have it turned on and was told it "disturbed the customers".  I wasn't eating my burger and the waitperson asked if it was all right.  I asked if it was supposed to be like shoe leather.  Adios Ground Round!
ann peeples
Sirloin
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2012/02/21 19:40:37
At our Ground Round, they served peanuts in the shell and we were "encouraged" to throw the shells on the floor.That was is the late seventies.The food was okay-but throwing stuff on the floor , without cleaning it up, was every teenagers dream!
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2012/02/21 20:27:05
At one time in the 70's and 80's the Ground Round was my favorite place to go especially in the Minneapolis/St. Paul region.  I not only enjoyed their peanuts but their burgers and pinball machines.  At that time they had the Captain Fantastic machine which was my favorite and I would play some games with friends with some beers and peanuts and then have a burger.
 
Where did they go?? They were fun at that time.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
 
 
fattybomatty
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2012/02/22 08:10:30
Apparently The Ground Round is still in business in about a dozen states

http://www.groundround.co..me/mobile/locations.asp
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2012/02/22 09:39:50
I can't remember for sure but we might've eaten at the Janesville, WI location many years ago.  I couldn't say when it actually opened but it seems like it's been there for just about forever.
 
Hmmm...I'll actually be in the area around dinnertime tonight but being as it's Ash Wednesday menu pickings are pretty slim.
 
Peanut shells on the floor must've been a popular '70s thing.  There was a place in Rockford, IL on Alpine Road across from Colonial Village - I think it might've been The Branding Iron back then - that encouraged the same practice.  Personally I've always been more of a straw wrapper shooter than a peanut shell tosser...
 
Brad
post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2012/02/22 09:42:07
Lindalou21
Junior Burger
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2013/01/17 08:46:09
Ackman

The first and only time I've ever eaten there, was in 1994 in Waltham. I believe it was on either South Street or Moody Street. They had a big screen in the middle of the restaurant, and popcorn was brought to your table. I still remember what I ate: Chicken Fingers.

The second part of the question is this: I've been to STL many times(my mother lives out there.) There was a BBQ chain in St. Charles and Troy, that I believe was called Texas Willy's. I remember there was a location on Hwy 94 at Jungermann Road, and the other was in Troy on Main Street. Were there any other locations?



I grew up in Missouri about 3.5 hrs away from STL and I believe that those are the only locations that were there! It was good barbecue though! There is a great place called Hwy.61 Roadhouse in Grove which isn't that far from STL you should definitely try it out if you get the chance!
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2013/01/17 14:01:56
We ate at the Ground Round in St. Joseph, MO this past Christmas.  It wasn't my pick, but that's where the in-laws wanted to do our annual day-after-Christmas gathering.  Frankly, it was way better than I expected it to be.  Given the limited choices for good restaurants in St. Jo, I wouldn't hesitate going back.
 
Buddy
kland01s
Filet Mignon
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2013/01/17 14:22:59
I had been to the Ground Round in Rockford a number of times back in the late 1960's. Buddy, wasn't there one Des Plaines?
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2013/01/17 18:42:34
In the 1970s and early '80s, there were a number of Ground Rounds throughout the Chicago suburbs. I ate at the Calumet City location a number of times and I really miss this chain. Throwing peanut shells on the floor was part of the experience, but the main reason to go was the hamburgers; char-broiled half-pounders ( medium rare in my case ) on dark bread that were similar to the ones still served up at the six Hackney's restaurants in Chicagoland. Good memories. 
billyboy
Filet Mignon
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2013/01/17 19:07:57
My parents used to bring my sister and I to the Ground Round on Seneca Turnpike in New Hartford, NY across from Sangertown Mall. I loved the popcorn, peanuts in the shell and I think I liked the food too. My favorite part, though, was getting to watch cartoons at dinner and every so often they would screen old Harold Lloyd silent films. What a treat!
CCinNJ
Sirloin
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2013/01/18 14:10:14
A Ground Round Sports Grille recently opened in Bradley Beach NJ.
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2013/01/18 14:37:48
kland01s ...Buddy, wasn't there one Des Plaines?
We've lived in Des Plaines since 1985, and I can't remember there ever being a Ground Round here.  We do have one of the few remaining Barnaby's Pizza outposts left in the area.  ScreamingChicken vows to eat there after our next Contingent outing on February 23rd.  I say he'll be too stuffed to even make it in the door.
 
The first Ground Round I ever visited was in Morton Grove where I grew up.  It is long gone, replaced by a succession of independent and chain restaurants.  The latest and longest lasting is a KFC.
 
BTW, the Ground Round location in St. Jo is brightly lit and nicely carpeted--not the sort of place that fosters peanut shell tossing at all.
 
Buddy
collinf
Cheeseburger
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2013/01/18 16:44:09
There was one in Overland Park, KS (suburb of Kansas City) not far from where my family lived in the late 70's/early 80's at about 77th and Metcalf Avenue but it has long since gone.  The last Ground Round I ate at was connected to a motel in Rapid City, SD in late October 2004.
kland01s
Filet Mignon
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2013/01/18 17:17:29
Buddy, now that you mention it, I think I am remembering Barnaby's. I used to spend a lot of time in the NW suburbs in the early 1970's and we would go to Barnaby's or Hackney's. The only Ground Round I remember is the one in Rockford.
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2013/01/18 18:27:31
Barnaby's tried to put forth kind of a 19th century English pub vibe.  They had these fake stained glass windows portraying a serving wench in a lowish cut blouse, balancing a tray of drinks while trying to avoid the inappropriate  attentions of the male patrons.  Hilarious, right?
 
Buddy
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2013/01/18 19:01:57
There was also a Barnaby's in Calumet City in the early '70s, and I do remember those fake stained glass windows. The pizza was pretty good but not what I'd call memorable.  
MetroplexJim
Sirloin
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2013/01/18 19:46:59
Yes!  I especially remember a Ground Round on Sudley Rd. in Manassas, VA which was conveniently located across the road from one of my businesses.  And I especially remember their lovely barkeep, Kristine.
WarToad
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2013/01/19 08:56:37
We still have one here in town, end up eating there a 2-3 times a year it seems.
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2013/01/19 17:37:36
There's a group of them stretching across the Snow/Rust Belt from ND to ME.
You can buy a franchise if you like.
http://www.groundround.com/Locations/Map/
It sounds like someone either took over the company or bought the name.
Looking at their web site, it appears that they've opened a bunch of them recently.
The Bradley Beach NJ location is one of their new sports bar concept stores.
Their new slogan is:
We're Even Better Than You Remember!
The menu's updated trying to appeal to new customers.
post edited by Foodbme - 2013/01/19 17:49:30
CCinNJ
Sirloin
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2013/01/20 01:37:38
I know there were a few fires and lawsuits....back in the day.

The Ground Round. Better than you remembered...when it reminded you of The Regal Beagle!
post edited by CCinNJ - 2013/01/20 01:47:11
carlton pierre
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2013/01/21 11:32:28
Seems that I used to take a customer to lunch at The Ground Round in Hampton, VA at least until 1 - 2 years ago and I think it is now closed.
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2013/01/21 15:15:29
I just looked at their website, and, based on what I saw, their new slogan should be "We're Nothing At All Like You Remember".
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2013/01/21 17:18:16
It has been years since I visited them but I recall they had good burgers, peanuts, beer and pinball.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
chicagostyledog
Filet Mignon
Re:Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2013/01/21 20:24:46
carolina bob

In the 1970s and early '80s, there were a number of Ground Rounds throughout the Chicago suburbs. I ate at the Calumet City location a number of times and I really miss this chain. Throwing peanut shells on the floor was part of the experience, but the main reason to go was the hamburgers; char-broiled half-pounders ( medium rare in my case ) on dark bread that were similar to the ones still served up at the six Hackney's restaurants in Chicagoland. Good memories. 

I agree 100% with your review. In the 70's, the Ground Round was considered a premier burger in the Chicago burbs, although I preferred a Hackney burger on dark rye. Today, burgers have soared to higher levels, while our pallets have changed. After enjoying a Niman Ranch cheeseburger at Dr. Dawg's or a bacon cheeseburger at Pearl's Phat Burger in Mill Valley and San Francisco, the Ground Round must always remain a memory.
WindyCityMike
Junior Burger
Re: Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2016/07/13 13:23:08
My girlfriend and I had our first date at the Ground Round in Burnsville, MN (then saw the movie About Last Night).  I guess that would make it 1986!  I remember enjoying the burgers, and what's more fun than having peanuts and throwing the shells on the floor?  Where else can you do that besides the ballpark?  Not sure when they closed down.
 
Now, if we are going to talk about great hamburgers, I do have a few favorites!  In Minnesota, you have to go to Matt's on Cedar and try a Juicy Lucy (cheese cooked inside the burger).  My folks took us kids and the grandkids to King's Place in Miesville, MN (home of the Miesville Mudhens!).  This was definitely worth the drive from the Twin Cities, if you're in town!
 
We live in Chicago now, so of course Hackney's is a must when you get a burger craving.  My favorite is with swiss cheese on rye bread.  SRO in Printer's Row is another favorite of mine: I always get the BBQ Cheddar burger.  If you have young kids, head to Des Plaines and treat them to a burger at the Choo-Choo Diner.  If you sit at the counter, your burger comes to you on a model train!  And if it's your birthday, they play a special song for you!  Hamburger Mary's is a fun place, if you are in the Andersonville neighborhood in Chicago.  If you want fancy, the Park Grill in Millennium Park had a very good burger.  Of course, there's always Five Guys.  Just don't throw the peanut shells on the floor!
 
So my wife and I have been married 25 years today.  I asked what she wanted for her Anniversary dinner.  She asked if there was a Ground Round nearby.  Sadly, we'd have to drive 83 miles from Chicago to go to the one in Brookfield, WI.  Good thing there are other options in Chicago for burgers!
JRPfeff
Filet Mignon
Re: Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2016/07/13 13:37:18
Sadly? No, any chance to drive to Wisconsin 🐄 is reason to celebrate.

Congratulations on 25 years of wedded bliss.🍾
Ketteract
Double Cheeseburger
Re: Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2016/07/13 14:18:09
There was one on Riverside Drive in Iowa City when I went to college ('98-'02).  Some friends and I went there once or twice.  I don't recall much about it aside from inoffensive, Applebee's-type American fare.  And waitstaff singing for birthdays.  Seems to have closed some years back.
leethebard
Sirloin
Re: Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2016/07/13 14:51:55
My cousin owned a Ground Round in Toms River, NJ.  I remember throwing the peanut shells on the floor....and the kids watching animated cartoons on screens around the restaurant. Fun place to go....the fun didn't last for too long, however.
Uncle Groucho
Cheeseburger
Re: Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2016/07/13 15:18:41
I had many a birthday party at the Keyport Nj location when I was young. The adults would sit around and smoke cigarettes and we would play video games and watch Mighty Mouse cartoons on the projection screen. We had a choice of Hamburger basket or Hotdog basket.
Karl
Re: Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2016/07/13 15:48:29
WCMike,
Welcome to Roadfood!  We've got a lot of common ground (Round?) between us, both in your native Minnesota and here in your adoptive home.  I used to make frequent business trips up to the Twin Cities.  Over the years we made a point of trying The Holy Trinity of Jucy Lucys, Matt's Bar, 5-8 Club, and The Nook.  Our favorite for the Burger itself was 5-8 Club.  The unique ambiance at The Nook made it a close second, with Matt's bringing up the rear.  Not a bad Burger, mind you, we just like the other two better.
 
We also found a great Burger at Lion's Tap over in Shakopee.  We met fellow Roadfooders Davydd and his wife Nancy there several years ago and enjoyed this magnificence on a bun:
 

 
Possibly the only Burger in history to ever look as good as the menu picture.  Trouble is, Lion's Tap's menu is a plain printed piece of paper, so my hyperbole doesn't entirely hold up.  Still, a damn good hunk of ground beef!
 
It's been years since I've been to a Hackney's, but it's about time for a return visit.  Specifically, the location on Harms Road in Glenview would make a nice outing for The Contingent (in case you're unaware, we're a group of Chicago and Milwaukee Roadfooders who get together several times a year to share Roadfood finds in and around both cities.  Consider this a cordial invitation to join the group if you please.  Keep your eyes peeled on the Eat & Greet Forum for future get togethers).
 
We rarely got to The Choo-Choo when my kids were little, but my now adult daughter and I made a nostalgic return trip a few years ago.  I wrote a nice review in the forums which seems to have disappeared (wake up Fexy folks, you're alienating a lot of longtime, supportive posters here).  Besides The Choo-Choo, Des Plaines has become a Burger destination.  There's of course Paradise Pup which has garnered praise as one of the best Burgers in the entire Chicago area.  And now we have American WildBurger serving up their own top notch grass fed beef patty.
 
JRPfeff is correct of course, driving to Wisconsin for a good Burger is reason to celebrate, but if you're going to go all that way, there are better options than Ground Round.  Sobelman's, Kopp's, and AJ Bombers come to mind in Milwaukee.  Big Star and The Spot in Kenosha, and Kewpee Burger in Racine are also excellent candidates.
 
Next time you're headed to DP, feel free to PM me.  If I'm available, I'll join you in a Burger or two.
 
Buddy
 
post edited by BuddyRoadhouse - 2016/07/13 15:51:53
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
Re: Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2016/07/13 17:20:30
I ate at the one in Burnsville, MN and Indianapolis IN many times.  Always enjoyed their burgers, fries, peanuts and pinball and mixed drinks.  Still 30 of them are still around and they seem to have upgraded quite a bit.
 
Locations for you.  http://www.groundround.com/Locations/
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
lleechef
Porterhouse
Re: Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2016/07/13 17:38:10
We had a Ground Round not far from my parents' house in Rochester, PA.  We ate there several times and I remember it being pretty good.  I really remember the peanut shells.
 
Holy smokes, Buddy!  That is one helluva burger!!! 
 
Welcome to Roadfood WindyCityMike!  Happy anniversary!
 
 
tmiles
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re: Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2016/07/13 17:57:32
My Dad's friend owned the local "Ground Round". He ran a decent bar in the age when 18 yr olds could drink, and I used to hang out there one day a week after I got out of the service. I never ran into my future wife there, but she went there a few times too.
 
Later, when I was married, it was a good place to take the kids, with a good kids menu, that was priced according to the kid's weight. The kids loved that scale!
 
I think that at one time, the franchise was owned by the same company as Howard Johnson, and a lot of GR locations were former HJ. 
Re: Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2016/07/13 19:10:38
lleechef
 
Holy smokes, Buddy!  That is one helluva burger!!! 




Actually, it was four helluva Burgers!

 
Buddy
 
lleechef
Porterhouse
Re: Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2016/07/13 21:00:37
True Roadfooders!  I think that's davydd and his wife but I don't know who the other fellow is.  Awesome picture!! 
Re: Anyone remember The Ground Round? Plus a St. Louis chain question 2016/07/13 22:31:09
You are correct, that is Davydd and Nancy.  The other guy is my Dad.
 
Buddy