Lum’s Restaurant

Do you remember Lum's Restaurant?

Remembering Lum’s: A Journey Through the History of a Beloved Restaurant

In the realm of nostalgia, Lum’s holds a special place in the hearts of many. From its humble beginnings to its rise in popularity, Lum’s left an indelible mark on the restaurant scene. In this blog post, we’ll take a trip down memory lane and explore the captivating history of Lum’s, tracing its roots and legacy.

  1. The Birth of Lum’s: Lum’s was founded in 1956 by Stuart and Clifford S. Perlman in Miami Beach, Florida. It started as a small hot dog stand named “Lum’s” after Clifford’s wife, Lorraine “Lum” Perlman.

  2. The Lum’s Experience: Lum’s quickly became known for its unique dining experience. The restaurant’s signature dish was the “Ollieburger,” a beer-steamed hot dog served on a toasted bun. It gained a loyal following for its delicious, mouthwatering flavor.

  3. The Introduction of the Ollieburger: In 1961, Lum’s expanded its menu to include the iconic Ollieburger, named after the Perlman brothers’ friend, Ollie, who inspired the creation. The Ollieburger became synonymous with Lum’s and helped solidify its reputation as a go-to spot for quality comfort food.

  4. Lum’s Goes Public: In 1969, Lum’s went public and became a publicly traded company. This move marked a significant milestone in its growth and expansion plans.

  5. The Lum’s Boom: During the 1970s, Lum’s experienced a rapid expansion phase, opening numerous locations across the United States. It became a popular chain known for its distinctive architecture, reminiscent of an English Tudor cottage.

  6. Acquisitions and Changes: In 1971, Lum’s acquired the rights to the “National Car Rental System” and eventually renamed the company “Lum’s National Car Rental Corporation.” This diversification move aimed to expand the brand’s reach beyond the restaurant industry.

  7. Decline and Closure: Despite its initial success, Lum’s faced challenges in the late 1970s. Economic downturns, increased competition, and mismanagement led to financial difficulties. Eventually, the majority of Lum’s locations closed, and the once-thriving chain gradually faded from the restaurant landscape.

  8. Lum’s Legacy: Although Lum’s is no longer a prominent presence in the restaurant industry, its legacy lives on in the memories of those who cherished the unique flavors and dining experience it offered. The iconic Ollieburger and its contribution to the culinary scene will forever hold a special place in the hearts of Lum’s enthusiasts.

The Rise & Fall of Lum's Restaurant

Lum's Restaurant was Founded

Lum's, a beloved American family restaurant chain, had its humble beginnings in Miami Beach, Florida, in 1956. The founders, Stuart and Clifford S. Perlman, acquired Lum's hot dog stand for $10,000, marking the inception of a culinary journey that would captivate taste buds for years to come. Within a few short years, the Perlman brothers expanded Lum's, opening three more restaurants and bringing the total to four by 1961.

This Florida-based chain quickly gained popularity, captivating diners with its unique blend of family-friendly atmosphere and delicious food. Lum's became known for its delectable hot dogs and other mouthwatering menu offerings that made it a must-visit destination.

Throughout its existence, Lum's spread its wings beyond its original location, expanding to various states across the country. The chain's commitment to quality and satisfying dining experiences allowed it to carve out a special place in the hearts of customers nationwide.

Sadly, as time passed, Lum's faced challenges and eventually met its closure. However, its legacy lives on in the memories of those fortunate enough to have savored its delightful fare and experienced its inviting ambiance.

Today, Lum's remains a cherished part of culinary history, a testament to the power of passion and dedication in creating memorable dining establishments. While the physical presence of Lum's may have faded, the fond recollections of its delicious hot dogs and warm family atmosphere continue to ignite nostalgia and appreciation for this iconic American restaurant chain.

Let us remember Lum's and the Perlman brothers' vision that brought joy to countless families across the nation, reminding us of the lasting impact that exceptional dining experiences can have on our lives.

The End of Lum's Restaurant

In 1978, Lum's faced a significant change in ownership when Wienerwald Holdings, A.G., a Swiss holding company and parent of the Wienerwald restaurant chain, led by Friedrich Jahn, acquired the 273-restaurant chain from Brown. Unfortunately, Wienerwald had overextended itself, leading to financial difficulties and ultimately filing for bankruptcy in 1982. As a result, two Lum's franchises controlled by Jahn were forced to shutter all 70 Lum's locations and file for bankruptcy.

In the wake of these challenges, the original Lum's location closed its doors in 1983, marking the end of an era. However, a glimmer of hope remained as one Lum's restaurant continued to operate in Bellevue, Nebraska, becoming the sole surviving location for a period.

Years later, in 2010, a new Lum's emerged in Seekonk, Massachusetts, rekindling the nostalgic memories associated with the brand. However, the Seekonk location eventually closed its doors, leaving the Nebraska restaurant as the last standing Lum's.

Despite its resilience, the Lum's in Bellevue, Nebraska, couldn't withstand the test of time. Sadly, it closed its doors on May 28, 2017, marking the end of Lum's presence in the restaurant industry.

The journey of Lum's from its acquisition by Wienerwald to bankruptcy and the subsequent dwindling of locations stands as a reminder of the ever-changing landscape of the restaurant business. While Lum's may no longer be actively operating, its legacy lives on through the fond memories of its devoted customers.

Lum’s, with its delicious Ollieburgers and unforgettable dining experience, left an enduring impact on the restaurant industry. While the Lum’s chain may have experienced challenges and ultimately declined, its story serves as a testament to the ever-changing nature of the culinary landscape. Lum’s will forever be remembered as a beloved part of dining history, reminding us of the joy and nostalgia that great food and unique experiences can bring.

Click through the gallery above for some of the most popular forgotten retail spots that are now gone, but never forgotten. Did we miss one of your favorites? Share your memories in the comments.

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