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Bury’s burger memories far from buried

Betty Bury Harmon, at a recent York Fair, looks at herself in front of her family’s hamburger stand in an old fair book. “They just developed it,” Harmon said about her father and his brothers. “They came up with the sauce, and it hit.”

Write about Bury’s Hamburgers, and it will spark more response than any other York County icon.
There’s something about those burgers, still served at the York Fair, that bring back memories.
Bury’s operated up to 11 restaurants in the York area at various times starting in the 1930s. The York Fair is just about the only place to find them in recent years. Smitties Soft Pretzels and Bricker’s Fries rival Bury’s in memories, but Bury’s takes the sauce.
A couple of Bury’s memories from readers:

Jean Mummert writes about the stand near the York County Courthouse, now administrative center, in the 1940s:

– Every Saturday morning my sister and I would ride the bus to downtown to the YWCA for swimming lessons. The YWCA was then in the building that later became the Jewish Community Center, which has now also moved. I’m not sure what became of that building. It may have been in the vicinity of the Heritage Center. After our swimming lessons, we would walk downtown to Bury’s in the first block of East Market Street and get hamburgers, which we took back to the “Y,” where we could purchase a bottle of Coke and a 5 cent bag of Senft’s chips for our lunch. On Saturdays that we did not go to the “Y,” we went to the Hiway Theater for the all-day kids’ movie show. It cost us 14 cents for a double feature and all the extra cartoons and series films like Superman, etc.

— Robert Wonner remembers the East York restaurant, managed by Gerald “Fats” Bury, located on the south side of Route 462 (not on north side, as another letter writer stated):

“It was the most modern of the Bury chain and was located on the west side of the Playland skating rink, which was located pretty much where Advance Motors Parts is now … . He was not “fat” and wasn’t the last time I saw him in the Staples or Builders Supply parking lot.”

Quotes in the York Daily Record:

– A Bury’s stand worker at the York Fair: “It was a McDonald’s before its time. It was because of the secret sauce.”
– “Two branches of relatives of the late, great Joe Bury have stands where they sell the famous hamburgers cooked in tomato sauce. These are about the only places you can find Bury’s burgers anymore; his small chain of restaurants went the way of the Dodo a long time ago. (This reporter recalls getting 10-cent burgers at Bury’s place in the first block of East King Street when he was a kid. But then again, this reporter is older than dirt.)
“Both branches of the Bury clan claim to have the original recipe. The only thing you can do is try both and figure it out for yourself.”

Also of interest

Yet another Bury’s hamburger drops into the cooker
Bury’s burgers: ‘You won’t get that recipe’
The quest for Bury’s secret hamburger recipe continues.

Reader reveals Bury’s secret recipe.
Is Bury’s secret sauce really secret?
Bury’s burgers: Nostalgia on a bun
Fair, Bury’s go together like tomato sauce, burgers
Bury’s burgers: ”That was it – no slaw, no relish, no pickles’
Playland plays nostalgic note for York countians
Bury’s burger memories far from buried
To read stroll back memory lane, see posts in Nostalgia and Memories category.