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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

1984 :: Joinerburgers

The Rockdale Reporter, July 26, 1984. Joinerburgers: what was the recipe? by Bill Cooke. Happy Days (circa 1950's) had Arnold's, the hang-out hamburger place. Rockdale had one, too, in the late 1940's and through 1952. It was Joiner's Cafe, although it was more commonly called Joinerburger's. . . . Ira Joiner was the proprietor of Joiner's Cafe in a small frame building that butted right up against what is now (1984) Richard Thrasher's downtown Promenade mall. Through the years that big corner building housed a car dealership and later a hardware store, with Joiner's Cafe securely affixed to its west side. Mr. Joiner served a full lineup of hamburgers and other short orders but his cafe became best known in these parts for his Joinerburger which he produced with his "secret" recipe. For Rockdale teenagers, Joiner's was the hang-out because it was the only such place. We're talking pre-Dairy Queen, folks. Joiner's was, pure and simple, an Arnold's-before-its-time. . . . Ira Joiner sold his cafe to Red Smith in 1952 and moved to Florida for a brief retirement. Then he opened another Joiner's Cafe . . . in Lampasas (Texas). After several successful years in that city, he sold out, retired and moved back to Rockdale, only to die within a month, according to his brother, Quintus W. Joiner, and sister, Alice Fleming, both of Rockdale. . . . I can still almost taste those Joinerburgers. Wonder what was in that recipe?

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