Falling trade leads to Rustic Burgers shutting up shop in Seymour's best-known building.CHALPAT SONTI July 16, 2014 3:58am
It’s the end of a Seymour icon — for the time being, anyway.
Falling trade is the reason given for Rustic Burgers in Emily St closing its doors.
That’s what happened on Sunday when it doled out its last burger ‘‘with the lot’’ and much more besides. The little business — housed in a building which for many Australians is the defining image of Seymour — has been a victim of circumstances.
It wasn’t a decision taken lightly, Rustic Burgers owner Michelle Taylor said. She leased the building to set up shop about four years ago but the hamburger stand has a much longer history.
Started by Stella Salakowski from a caravan back in the 1960s, the building came along later. It was closed for a while before Ms Taylor rented the building and opened up.
She had customers from all over the nation.
‘‘We still get guys who used to serve at Pucka in the ’60s come in, retired Army guys, people from Darwin,’’ she said.
‘‘We got a lot of truck drivers and Army guys still coming through. The locals did a lot of phone orders.’’
Someone who probably knows the stand better than just about anyone is Bruce Pullman of Fawkner. When the Telegraph visited on Friday afternoon, he was paying his second visit for the day — on the way to Nagambie and back. The 66-year-old reckoned he’d been coming there for 50 years.
‘‘I’ve had a place in Nagambie since 1985 myself. I used to waterski and have been coming up here since I was young.
‘‘I can remember this place when Stella was here and her daughters after. It was always very popular and you always got a decent feed.’’
Mr Pullman’s order was always the same: ‘‘I have a bacon hamburger, you get half a kilo of bacon on it.’’
‘‘It’s a shame to see it close, it really is. This is an icon here, people come from all states, the prices are great. Five dollars for a burger where you don’t get one slice of bacon but 30 slices,’’ he said.
The stand has also featured in publications as diverse as Epicure, the Herald Sun and Big Rig.
So why close? ‘‘It was too quiet,’’ Ms Taylor said.
‘‘We even tried opening mornings to give that a go but we’ve been doing 60 hours a week and after power, rates, insurance and stuff it was just too hard to get anywhere.’’
The warning signs were there during the summer.
‘‘That’s usually a busy time for us but when we had that spell of 40°C plus days it was 52°C in here. There was no-one around and we had to lock up and go home, it was just too hot.’’
Ms Taylor employed her daughter and friends and acquaintances in the business, but most got let go a week early.
And what was her most popular meal?
‘‘The hamburger with the lot and the scotch fillet roll,’’ she replied without hesitation.
And there’s no regrets.
‘‘It’s been good, I can walk away not having any debt and I would rather do that while I can. Too many people lose everything.’’
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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