BRUNSWICK (NEWS CENTER Maine) — A Maine landmark is up for sale.
Fat Boy, a drive-in restaurant in Brunswick, has been serving up BLTs, burgers, fries and frappes for more than 60 years. Now it's on the market.
The beloved owners, Ken and Jeanne Burton, are hoping whoever buys it, keeps the Fat Boy tradition going.
"It's your heart and soul that you've put into this, every day for the past 30 some odd years. You eat, drink and sleep Fat Boy," said Jeanne Burton. "And when you're not going to have that anymore, it's sad."
Jeanne and Ken Burton met at Fat Boy. She was just 16 years old. They were introduced by one of Ken's friends.
Ken's connection to the restaurant is strong. His uncle opened it in 1955. His father helped run it. And Ken and Jeanne took it over in 1984. And it's always been a family affair. Ken and Jeanne's two children and 5 grandchildren also worked there.
"It was always a great place to work," said Ken and Jeanne's son Brian Burton. "People were always friendly. [Jeanne and Ken] were strict, but they were a family to all the employees."
And to generations of customers.
"Thankfully, we've had a lot of loyal customers for a lot of years, we really have," Jeanne said, "and we appreciate them so much."
But the long hours and huge commitment had just gotten to be too much.
"It's still from 5 in the morning to 8 p.m., but the time we get out its 9 p.m., seven days a week," Ken Burton said. "It takes its toll."
So Ken and Jeanne Burton made the bittersweet decision to retire, taking with them a lifetime of memories and new beginnings. Ken Burton hopes he gets to be a customer at Fat Boy.
"I'm hoping it continues the way it is," he said, "and that I can drive in myself and sit in the car and get my food."
Real estate broker Victor Tedford said the response has been overwhelming.
"This is the most exciting, newsworthy listing I've ever had," he said.
Tedford has already received about two dozen phones calls from potential buyers, many of whom have a personal connection to Fat Boy.
Tedford said the timing is right. If someone buys the restaurant soon, it could be ready to open, as usual, in the springtime.