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Mearl's Drive-In to Become Habit Burger Grill

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Sanford&Son, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. Sanford&Son
    Joined: Oct 13, 2006
    Posts: 320

    Sanford&Son
    Member
    from Visalia,Ca

    Mearl's Drive In in Visalia California was closed in 2006, it was our Mel's version from American Graffiti. Just announced the Habit Burger Grill has plans to give it a face lift. The historic building will go through a drastic change, and hopefully keep some of it's nostalgic charm it had in it's hay-day. Some people disagree with the new changes, but I welcome change. The building has been vacant for four years and has been vandilized and several things stolen from the premises. I attached some before, after, and future pics! :cool:
     

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  2. philly the greek
    Joined: Feb 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,485

    philly the greek
    Member
    from so . cal.

    they opened a Habit burger near where i live in Orange County CA , and they're a pretty good burger . Not the best , but deffinatley not the worst . Always clean and efficiant.
     
  3. El Caballo
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,907

    El Caballo
    Member

    Yeah, I had a burger habit, but they put me on the portabella mushroom patch, not too bad if you put enough cheese and ketchup on them... ;)
     
  4. BOWTIE BROWN
    Joined: Mar 30, 2010
    Posts: 3,256

    BOWTIE BROWN
    Member

    beats the hell out of jack in the box.
     
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  5. I'm glad to see the building is going to be saved. It's been a landmark around there for a long time. Keep us posted with the progress.
     
  6. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,723

    Weasel
    Member

    Why not get in touch with the franchisee and suggest setting up a cruise night once the joint is open - show some local support for the new business and get yourself a new cruising venue. This approach worked out great with the Broiler.
     
  7. Mearl's food was never that great, and not very clean either. I went to high school in Visalia '99-'02 It was a fun place to park the '56 though.....I wish it had been restored while I still lived there. That will be a great car show spot. Too bad they can't leave the name alone and fix the place up. It's a landmark!
     
  8. rayford
    Joined: Jul 3, 2008
    Posts: 1,239

    rayford
    Member
    from calhoun ga

    that was allways the friday night spot when i lived there . get you something to eat and go cruise mooney blvd .
     
  9. It's about time. I'm tired of watching paint chips falling off into the parking lot. Step one: fumigate, fumigate, fumigate!

    I'm actually really happy someone's going to give Merle's it's life back.
     
  10. PonchoJohn
    Joined: May 1, 2009
    Posts: 240

    PonchoJohn
    Member
    from Fresno, Ca

    That's cool. I didn't realize that y'all had a drive in like that.
    I miss the original Fat Jack's (on Blacktone) in Fresno.
    Some folks also tried to revive the old MARS Drive in, but they put it on west Shaw Ave., in a not real busy strip mall- bombed.
    Hopefully, this joint has lots of success.
     
  11. I'm with you on that. Never really cared for Fat Jacks.
     
  12. Katuna
    Joined: Feb 25, 2005
    Posts: 629

    Katuna
    Member
    from Clovis,Ca.

    I've always liked Fat Jacks. They moved from Blackstone years ago when it started getting REALLY seedy in the neighborhood, as opposed to the standard level of seedy on the south end of Blackstone. I used to sit in my work van on the south side of the building and watch the drug dealers on bicycles make deals at the stop sign. OK kids, roll 'em up!

    I'm glad to see someone is doing something with Mearles. I drove by there for the first time in years about a month ago and was really saddened. Used to cruise Mooney back in the early 80's and hung out there a lot. Was kind of scurvy even back then but that's the allure when you're 16, right?
     
  13. Beef Stew
    Joined: Oct 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,254

    Beef Stew
    Member
    from So Cal

    mmmmm habit burger. it's just as good as in-n-out PLUS you can add bacon!
     
  14. Adriene
    Joined: Feb 2, 2009
    Posts: 169

    Adriene
    Member

    As with building a hot rod or rebuilding the Broiler, supporting these historic gathering places as they come back to life is soooo important. What do you think..HAMB cruise to Visalia? I'll talk to the guys at the Broiler and see who'd like to go up for the grand opening.

    http://www.ci.visalia.ca.us/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=9554

    Former Mearle’s site to get modern-day makeover that pays tribute to historical significance of 70-year-old structure
    Melding the memories of the past—the Shake on the Sign Stays—with a modern day look, Visalia residents got a sneak-peek at the renderings of The Habit Burger Grill prior to the Site Plan Review
    meeting Oct. 27. “The Habit is excited to be moving forward with our preliminary plans for a new restaurant in Visalia,” said Russ Bendel, CEO for The Habit Burger Grill. “We appreciate the historical significance of this site and are looking forward to working toward the creation of a new Habit Burger Grill that will recognize
    and honor the beloved legacy of Mearle’s and the impact it has had on the City and its residents. As The Habit continues to grow, Visalia is a wonderful community for us to be a part of and we look forward to serving future generations of burger lovers here.”
    The historical significance of this 70-year-old structure will be shown with a scale model display of Mearle’s encased within the dining area, and a historical photographic gallery just off of the main seating area. The Habit will maintain Mearle’s footprint with access from Mooney Boulevard and Myrtle Avenue. It will feature a drive-though window and indoor and patio seating. Plans will be reviewed by the City’s Historic Preservation Advisory Committee. A conditional-use permit for the restaurant and drive-through is also needed. “Over the years, Mearle’s College Drive-In has been a remarkable place and has meant so much to so many people,” said local historian Terry Ommen. “Within its walls, relationships were formed, friendships were strengthened and business deals were made. “Now this Visalia icon is about to begin a new chapter. Officials of The Habit recognize the historic treasure they are about to occupy and promise to ‘preserve as much of Mearle’s history as we can.’ Once again, this building known as Mearle’s will bring people together and new memories will take shape.”​
     
  15. You all are so lucky,,,,,,,,,,
     
  16. bubba67
    Joined: Nov 26, 2008
    Posts: 1,676

    bubba67
    Member
    from NJ



    Adriene is awsome. Thanks for all you did for the Broiler and now maybe this.
     
  17. Cyclone Kevin
    Joined: Apr 15, 2002
    Posts: 2,569

    Cyclone Kevin
    Alliance Vendor

    Adriene is a awesome! We worked very hard along with all of our HAMB family to pull off an impossible save. This (Mearle's)was always on our minds, look it up. I even asked Humbolt Cat to work on this one as we were working on the Broiler.

    Glad to see the Habit has taken this on. Used to visit the one in Santa Clarita-Saugus, was pretty good!
    Can't wait to visit it in the Bird or the roadster,last time I had the bird there was 93.
    Way too long of a hiatus.
    Congrats to all who worked on this this 1940's American Drive-In.
    CK
     
  18. Butcher Boy
    Joined: Aug 6, 2008
    Posts: 298

    Butcher Boy
    Member

    Thats great news ! My wife is from the area and we ate there back in the 70's. Can't forget the Orange Blossom Festival, Mooney Blvd cruise and Mooney's Grove
     
  19. Adriene
    Joined: Feb 2, 2009
    Posts: 169

    Adriene
    Member

    Such kind words, thanks everyone. This save belongs to the Visalia folks. It will be exciting to watch as the new Mearle's/Habit emerges!
     
  20. Butcher Boy
    Joined: Aug 6, 2008
    Posts: 298

    Butcher Boy
    Member

    Please let us know when it opens !!! Thanks
     
  21. Humboldt Cat
    Joined: Feb 20, 2003
    Posts: 2,078

    Humboldt Cat
    Member
    from Eureka, CA

    I'm glad to hear it's being revitalized, even if under a different chain name. It's the birthplace of my car club in the '40s (the Pandraggers, where they'd hang out at "Mars"). Saw it myself, peering through the windows while passing through Visalia at night after a weekend of seeing the then-construction of the Broiler about to happen. It might not carry the same name, but people can keep the spirit alive, for sure.
     
  22. sololobo
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 6,826

    sololobo
    Member

    Good food or not, glad to see such an ass kickin joint re-opening. These spots are going away faster than my mispent youth. Cruz out and enjoy the scene when available, I may go to a local Sonic drive Inn for a curz nite but may only be having one of their new premium hot dogs and a coke. But dig the looks of the joint. ~sololobo~
     
  23. SlamIam
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 366

    SlamIam
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Been avoiding that part of Mooney since it closed because it makes me sad to see the place the way it is now. Always stopped there while cruising Mooney in the 60's, and on the way home from Famoso until it closed - their fries with gravy on the side were a favorite. A mystery to me how a drive-in across the street from a busy college could ever close. Glad to see it will open again, but too bad they don't respect the history and keep it looking like Mearle's.
     
  24. hanginlow58
    Joined: Sep 16, 2003
    Posts: 360

    hanginlow58
    Member

    thought i would throw some pics of the progress going on at mearles, this started around the begining of may and these guys dont mess around they brought the big guns out on this project as you can see the amount of heavy machinery in the parking lot, now they said they were going to add a drive thru but the pics i took today show a hole all the way thru the middle of the building, i hope thats not what thats for lol.
     

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  25. hanginlow58
    Joined: Sep 16, 2003
    Posts: 360

    hanginlow58
    Member

    more
     

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  26. hanginlow58
    Joined: Sep 16, 2003
    Posts: 360

    hanginlow58
    Member

    circa 1940
     

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  27. Adriene
    Joined: Feb 2, 2009
    Posts: 169

    Adriene
    Member

    Thanks for posting these--exciting to see the project underway! I'll keep checking back for progress pix. Glad you posted the photo of Mearle's when it was still Tad's, *sigh* if only we could get back to the future for a day..
     
  28. Adriene
    Joined: Feb 2, 2009
    Posts: 169

    Adriene
    Member

    Thanks for posting these--exciting to see the project underway! I'll keep checking back for progress pix. Glad you posted the photo of Mearle's when it was still Tad's, *sigh* if only we could get back to the future for a day..
     
  29. 15ASedan
    Joined: Mar 16, 2010
    Posts: 114

    15ASedan
    Member

    I used to eat at The Habit @25 years ago in Goleta, CA. (See attachment) Can't wait for this new place to open. If the burgers are 1/2 as good as I remember, I'll need to get longer seat belts.
     

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  30. Butcher Boy
    Joined: Aug 6, 2008
    Posts: 298

    Butcher Boy
    Member

    The Company should get a gold star for bring it back. Hope I can make it to the grand opening and maybe cruise a bit around V-Town
     

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