family 560The friendly faces of the iconic Saugeen Shores restaurant, Burger Trail. From left, Jim, Steven, and Kitsa Kalogiros.

Megan Dunn, Saugeen Shores Hub

After 40 years of producing quality, made-to-order food, Saugeen Shores’ iconic drive-in eatery, Burger Trail, will close its doors for good on September 10. Besides being known for char-broiled burgers, hot dogs, chicken burgers, fries and the Big Trailer Burger, Burger Trail is known best for its high quality customer service. Owned and operated by Jim and Kitsa Kalogiros and family since 1979, everyone who passes through the restaurant is always greeted with an earnest salutation and farewell.

On July 15, “burger heir” Steven Kalogiros shared the news that Burger Trail will be closing its doors on his social media. The post was accompanied with a “This Is The End” poster that was designed for him by artist Brian Walsby, who in the past has done artwork and merchandise for bands like The Melvins. The post was shared over 440 times on Facebook, successfully “going viral” with many well wishes and promises of road trips to visit Burger Trail one last time made. This amazed Steven. “It’s been a positive response. People are sad and disappointed that they’re not going to get their poutines and Big Trailers and see us anymore but they’re happy - obviously - that my folks are retiring, because they've known us forever,” said Steven.

Steven’s parents purchased the burger location from a friend in 1979 while the family was in Port Elgin visiting the beach. Steven was 3 years old at the time and his sister, Maria, 1 year old.

Owner Kitsa Kalogiros said she will be sad to let such a great property go and reminisced about how Port Elgin has grown over the years. “Since we came here, there was not much beyond here, next door was gravel.” Kitsa added that Goderich Street has changed a lot, but some things have stayed the same, like her restaurant.

Kitsa said since the announcement was made her regulars have been sad, “but I assume that they're happy for us,” now that Kitsa and her husband, Jim get to retire. “It’s kind of nice, the thought of retiring, but it’s kind of sad to let it go. But it’s time,” Kitsa said.

When asked what her plans are once she retires, she quickly answered, “nothing”, but later added, “just enjoying life, the grandkids. I’d like to enjoy the beach for once in the summertime here. I’m always working so it will be nice, it will be different.”

Son Steven joked that he would have loved to continue working at Burger Trail but he would have enlisted his parents to help and his father Jim, “doesn't want to work for me.” So Steven will focus on his real estate career, which he practises in London as well as Saugeen Shores. Steven was the agent who sold Burgar Trail to clients who will be opening a new Chinese food restaurant. “It will be weird to come back,” said Steven, “but the new owners are nice people,” he said.

“I’m going to miss it, I eat here twice a day,” said Steven.

“I’ve been here long enough to see ‘kids’ come in with their (now) grandchildren.” Steven added that he’s known customers throughout their schooling so it’s nice to see them come in as adults.

Above all the Kalogiros family would like to thank the people of Saugeen Shores for their years of support.

Burger Trail through the years:

1976 560Burger Trail opened its doors in 1974. The Kalogiros family purchased it in 1979.

1980s 560Burger Trail in 1980.

today 560Burger Trail, the iconic Saugeen Shores restaurant, will be closing its doors on September 10, 2016 after 40 years.