(often shortened to either Blake's
) is a New Mexico fast food
chain based in Albuquerque
and consisting of 76 stores as of 2008
. Known primarily for its made-to-order hamburgers
, Blake's enjoys considerable popularity within its single-state territory.
All Lotaburger stores are company-owned. Blake's Lotaburger also owns the majority of the property that its stores are built on, and the stores themselves are built by the company construction division. Blake's owns and operates its own sheet metal shop, refrigeration shop, cabinet shop, vehicle shop, maintenance fleet, and commissary.
Blake's Lotaburger was founded by Blake Chanslor, a native of Texas
who moved to Albuquerque after World War II
. With an initial investment of $5,300 USD
, Chanslor opened a 230-square foot "Lota Burger" hamburger stand on July 9
. It was located at the corner of San Mateo and Southern in southeast Albuquerque. The venture proved successful, and Chanslor opened two more stores in 1953
Since then, Lotaburger has expanded across New Mexico with locations in 23 cities. Albuquerque still contains the greatest number of Lotaburger stores, with a total of 35. Chanslor remained the owner of the chain until 2003, when he sold his interest in the venture; the restaurants are now owned by Blake's Lotaburger LLC.
During the 1990s, most Lotaburger television advertisements featured the Ernest P. Worrell character, played by Jim Varney. The oldest active Lotaburger is Store #2 in Albuquerque, which dates to 1953. The original Blake's stand on San Mateo is still in existence but no longer houses a Lotaburger.
Blake's signature menu item is the Lotaburger, which is especially popular with cheese and green chile added. Other offerings include the smaller Itsaburger as well as hot dogs
and corn dogs
, chili bowls
and chili pie
, and fish sandwiches
, chicken tenders
, onion rings
, and milkshakes
Some Lotaburger stores also have a breakfast menu which includes breakfast sandwiches and several types of breakfast burrito.
Blake's stores feature a red and white color scheme, and older stores often have an outdoor seating area with red and white striped umbrellas. A few of the earliest Lotaburger stores were walk-up stands with outdoor tables only, but the majority have an inside seating area. Most newer stores also have a drive-through.