Talking Biz

Talking Business: Longtime waitress opens Mary's Burger & A Shake

2013-12-22T21:00:00Z 2014-02-24T15:45:31Z Talking Business: Longtime waitress opens Mary's Burger & A Shake Longview Daily News

Castle Rock resident David Huisenga drove to West Longview on Thursday and Friday last week just to chow down at Mary’s Burger & A Shake.

“I’ve been all over the world two times ... and I’ve never had a burger like this,” said Huisenga, 41, eating a wild Swiss mushroom burger and fries Friday. “It’s probably one of the best burgers I’ve ever had in my life.”

Owner Mary Mathers opened the cozy burger joint with six tables Nov. 11 in the space formerly occupied by Umi Teriyaki. After more than 20 years of waitressing at Elmer’s Pancake House (now Stuffy’s) and the Monticello Hotel, Mathers, 52, was ready to run her own business. Although she lives in Lexington, she chose to locate in West Longview because “there’s no place out here like us,” she said Friday.

For the first couple of days, Mathers wondered whether she’d done the right thing — and then her former waitressing customers began flocking in to support her.

“It’s been going wonderful,” she said.

She hasn’t had to do a lick of advertising. Waitress Sierra Hebert immediately started a Facebook page for the restaurant and posted daily specials and photos of the food. Now the place is so busy, Mathers plans to expand the dining room into the next storefront in January so she can offer breakfast daily rather than just on weekends.

Her husband, Warren Mathers, and son, Jeff Hamilton, the restaurant’s cook, created the menu of 17 burgers, five sliders, a kid’s menu, milk shakes and floats. The hand-pressed burgers, which are cut with a touch of brisket for flavor, average $10 and come with a soft drink, plus fries, potato salad or onion rings. The house fries are made from scratch. Burgers include the Ultimate Bacon Burger with three kinds of bacon, the Bite You Back Burger with jalapenos, pepper bacon and fire sauce, and the Oahu Burger, a 3/4-pound beef patty with a thin slice of Spam, a grilled pineapple ring and teriyaki sauce.

For the eater who likes a challenge, there’s the Mountain Burger for $24.95, which is three patties (totaling 2 1/4 pounds of beef) topped with egg, bacon, cheddar, Swiss, turkey, ham, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle. The towering burger comes with 2 pounds of fries and 2 pounds of onion rings.

“You ought to see their faces when it comes out,” Mary Mathers said.

Finish the entire platter by yourself in 45 minutes and it’s free. You also get your photo on the wall and a T-shirt that says “I conquered the mountain.” So far, seven people have taken the challenge and one man has finished it.

Customers keep coming back because the meat and veggies are so fresh, she said.

“I think that makes a huge difference when you get a good burger,” she said.

Amy M.E. Fischer covers Longview city government and local retail businesses for The Daily News. ​Reach her at 360-577-2532 or afischer@tdn.com.

Copyright 2015 Longview Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(9) Comments

  1. kitten
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    kitten - December 23, 2013 7:50 am
    Can't wait to try this place!
  2. ProudKelsoMom
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    ProudKelsoMom - December 23, 2013 2:15 pm
    Mary & Warren are two of the nicest people that I know. I wish them ALL the luck in the world with their new venture and my family will be happy to give them our business.
  3. RAL dave
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    RAL dave - December 23, 2013 4:08 pm
    I know Mary from her Monticello days. I know this has been a dream for her. Very best wishes!
  4. tugboatTaylor
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    tugboatTaylor - December 23, 2013 4:51 pm
    I Tried Mary's it is great
  5. Wisdom
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    Wisdom - December 23, 2013 5:49 pm
    Awesome! I'm so glad we are getting some good places here in this community!!!
  6. hippi freak
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    hippi freak - December 24, 2013 6:02 pm
    I quit being a vegitarian after I ate here. Well almost a vegiterian.
  7. RAL dave
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    RAL dave - December 24, 2013 6:56 pm

    I live in Seattle but love the Monticello's breakfasts, and when I was in Longview last August Mary was my server and told me about her dream of opening her own place. I'm so glad it finally happened. I will be in town again eventually. Mary's Burgers will be my first stop.

    Dave Fox
  8. DW111
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    DW111 - December 24, 2013 7:18 pm
    Well Nip's has always been my burger of choice in this town. Looks like I have a new burger joint to try out. The best burgers are always made by the Mom and Pop shops. Sounds like word of mouth is giving her all the business she can handle. That's the way it should be, provide a good product and service and you don't need to spend a bunch of money on advertising...Gonna hit this place up on my next day off after Christmas!!
  9. hrhmdr
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    hrhmdr - December 25, 2013 5:42 am
    Visited Mary's and was blissfully happy. People were enjoying themselves in a relaxed atmosphere while getting the best burgers I've had in dog's age. Mary is obviously living her dream and I cant wait for her to expand in the new year to include a place to serve great breakfast, early in the morning. Good for you Mary..but better for us! Keep up the good work.
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