On National Cheeseburger Day, the Best Deals Are in Pasadena, Home of the Cheeseburger

Published on Sep 16, 2020

A number of Pasadena restaurants and chains are offering special one-time deals for National Cheeseburger Day on Friday, Sept. 18, including big discounts and new cheeseburger launchings to celebrate the fact that the cheeseburger may have actually been invented in Pasadena. 

As a matter of fact, National Today, a website for people looking for a reason to celebrate and the brands that want to celebrate with them, credits Pasadena resident Lionel Sternberger for putting a slice of American cheese on a burger for the first time when he was a teenager helping his father run the family’s sandwich shop and taking a bite of the first “cheeseburger” in 1926.

“We have Lionel Sternberger to thank for his invention of gastronomic genius. Sternberger? Well, he certainly had the perfect name for the job,” National Today says in a backgrounder for National Cheeseburger Day.  

National Today talks about two versions of the cheeseburger invention story. 

“In one, Lionel, out of curiosity, added a piece of American cheese onto a hamburger frying on the griddle. In Version 2, a homeless passerby saw Lionel working those burgers and suggested adding cheese. Either way, the rest is mouthwatering, delicious history,” says the backgrounder. 

“Whether you grill your own burgers today or caravan with your crew to everybody’s favorite burger joint, go hog-wild crazy eating as many toasted, drippingly-good cheeseburgers as your tummy can hold. So, thanks, Lionel — we wouldn’t be eating cheeseburgers without you!”   

The Sternbergers’ shop was “The Rite Spot” at 1500 W. Colorado Blvd., in Pasadena. The shop is long gone, and in its place now stands the LA Financial Credit Union office. 

On Jan. 5, 2017, the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce unveiled a plaque commemorating the invention of the cheeseburger by the young Sternberger on that spot. Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek, Pasadena Chamber President and CEO Paul Little, and LA Financial Credit Union Vice President Amanda O’Brien were on hand to welcome guests to the dedication. 

The plaque puts the “birth” of the cheeseburger at a different date – Jan. 5, 1924, believed to have been based on an old Rite Spot menu that listed an item called the “Aristocratic Hamburger,” described as “The Original Hamburger with Cheese.” 

The Rite Spot may have long gone, but there won’t be a lack of delicious cheeseburgers in Pasadena on Friday. 

To mention a few, Dog Haus, at 105 N. Hill Ave., Suite 104, is celebrating the cheeseburger’s big day on Friday with a Dog Haus signature cheeseburger for just $5. The offer must be redeemed through the Dog Haus app. Visit www.pasadena.doghaus.com for more information.

On Friday, guests at Slater’s 50/50 who order the Best Damn Bacon Cheeseburger and utter the magic words “Juicy Lucy” to the staff can get an upgrade to a Juicy Lucy patty, which, in short, is Black Canyon Angus beef stuffed with tons of melted cheese. Also on that day, diners will score a Slater’s 50/50 coupon card, valid through year’s end and redeemable for a $10 Backyard Classic Burger and drink, or a $15 Backyard Classic Burger with beer on their next visit. 

The offer is only valid at the Pasadena location, at 61 N. Raymond Ave., and at the Anaheim Hills, Valencia, and San Diego locations. For more information, visit www.slaters5050.com

Denny’s, at 2627 E. Colorado Blvd., has launched two new cheeseburger-friendly Family Packs: the four-serving Cheeseburger Pack, and the Breakfast and Cheeseburger Combo Pack, which serves four to five. The Cheeseburger Pack includes four beef patties, buns, cheese, toppings, and wavy-cut fries. The breakfast version has pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, plus two cheeseburgers with fries. Join Denny’s Rewards, and receive 20 percent off your next order. For more information, visit https://locations.dennys.com/CA/PASADENA/209613

And Domino’s, which has outlets at 1935 E. Colorado Blvd. and 633 S. Arroyo Parkway in Pasadena, is putting cheeseburgers on pizza on Friday. The chain last month launched its new “Cheeseburger Pizza,” made with a ketchup-mustard sauce, American cheese, beef, onions, tomatoes, shredded provolone, and cheddar cheese. A large runs $11.99. For more details, visit www.pizza.dominos.com/california/pasadena.

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