Food of the Seventies, Burger Queen & Druther's

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I remember both Burger Queen & Druther's! BQ was a Louisville, KY-based chain that started in the late '60s and was renamed Druther's in the late '70s. BQ's mascot was Queenie Bee and Druther's had Andy Dandy. The Druther's chain was converted to Dairy Queen in the '80s, but there is one left: as of August 2006, the last operating Druther's is located at 101 N. Columbia Avenue in Campbellsville, KY. Queen Bee is still on their sign, and you can still buy an "Andy Dandy's Adventure" meal there. has a great article on Druthers.
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The following are comments left about Burger Queen & Druther's from site visitors such as yourself. They are not spell checked or reviewed for accuracy.

Joe Baker - May 20, 2007 - Report this comment
Burger Queen!!!! Druthers!!! Where I lived, Burger Queen was the first "chain" burger joint. To get McD's or Burger Chef you had to go to Kingsport, TN. Norton VA had the loved Burger Queen. I was a bit bummed when it changed names to Druthers, but still frequented even after it switched over to Dairy Queen. Not the food was that memorable, however as I said above, it was the only burger "chain" in the area
AJ - July 19, 2007 - Report this comment
Oh... I loved Burger Queen when I was little! I always got the cheeseburger, sm. fries and coke. My parents/grandparents always ordered "The Imperial Burger", which was sort of like a whopper with cheese. I was so happy the day I finally got to taste one because it was "grown up" food. Remember the little plastic "Queenie Bee" rings and peppermint stick candy they gave out around Christmas? Or how about the free food for good grades. For every "A" you got a hamburger or cheeseburger, "B's" received small fries and "C's" got you a small coke. That's the way it was here in L-ville. Awesome!
TGV - March 24, 2008 - Report this comment
Yeh there was a Burger Queen in Somserset,KY as well! I remember the A's hamburgers!
David - September 16, 2008 - Report this comment
I was doing a little research yesterday and apparently there is still a Druthers in operation in Campbellsville, KY. I believe it's the only one.
Deb - September 27, 2008 - Report this comment
I loved our Burger Queen! They had wonderful chicken baskets and you could get these little hamburgers and then put your own toppings on them...I'd fill mine up with pickle slices. Corbin, KY!
gary - October 05, 2008 - Report this comment
My first job was at Burger Queen in Winter Haven, Fl back in 1978. I used to love the onion rings and the chicken. They had the Imperial Burger and the Royal Burger.
DG - February 16, 2009 - Report this comment
I think there was one in Whitley City, KY and Oneida, TN when I was little. Whitley City changed to Druthers; I thought the woman said "Brothers", which I thought sounded silly. I remember grainy commercials with Queenie Bee, and I thought Burger King was copying BQ because they didn't get to this area until later. Can't find any Queenie Bee commercials on You Tube and the like! Probably weren't enough VCRs around KY.
Vikki Boggs - February 24, 2009 - Report this comment
My first job was at Druthers in Paintsville Ky. That is when the salad bar first came about. OH MY that seems so long ago. They deep fried everything! That is where I ate my first deep fried zuchinni
Benita Thornton for Darryl Thornton, Sr. - March 24, 2009 - Report this comment
My husband remembers that it was Burger Chef before of after it was Burger Queen. This one was across from Valley High School on Dixie HWY and Valley Station Road. My husband went there with his friends in the early to mid 70's after a swim at Valley High School pool. He got to dress up his burger with onions, lettuce, etc. and it was worth the .25 cents. He also remembers the burgers for an "A" on his report card. He went to Jesse Stuart High School and he and friends would leave school for lunch and visit Burger Queen and then Burger Chef.
todd wooten - June 03, 2009 - Report this comment
we had a burger queen in seymour indiana. as a kid, that was my fathers favorite burgers (mine too) I remember one of the prizes was a magnifying glass, and they had a little song in the comercial about....i found it, i found it... does any remember the song?
footballmom104 - December 22, 2009 - Report this comment
I grew up in Huntington, WV - we didn't have Burger Queen but they were in Williamson and Kermit and we saw the comercials on TV.
fastfoodfondness - April 02, 2010 - Report this comment
I totally remember Andy Dandy Tail!
scotty23 - January 22, 2011 - Report this comment
I was in the Queenie Bee commercials here in Louisville. I remember a commercial shoot we had in Cherokee park once. They served us White Castle hamburgers!
holleylama - April 22, 2011 - Report this comment
My parents bought a BQ franchise in Paris, KY. My mom's brother was the manager and when I was 12 we went down to see how things were going. Apparently, the staff was not doing their job, so my Mom got up and grabbed me and went to an employee to get a cloth to clean up. She and I cleaned all of the tables. Many years later did I find out that the employees were so amazed that the manager's "retarded" sister and her daughter were cleaning the restaurant. Apparently, my uncle had told all of his crew that my mom was mentally impaired! 1972 History...what can you do?
Rich72 - May 15, 2011 - Report this comment
I rememember well eating at them in Louisville Kentucky. But most important to me was that after graduating from college, I bought Mr George Clarks house in 1972 from him on Eline Ave in St Mathews-Louisville Ky. He and his brother were the original founders of Burger Queen
anynonomous - July 04, 2011 - Report this comment
Does anyone know of archived videos of the Burger Queen commercials?
Chris - August 04, 2011 - Report this comment
I want a Royal Burger SO BAD I CAN'T STAND IT!!!
Erin Young - August 27, 2011 - Report this comment
I was in a Burger Queen commercial when I was 10 yrs old! That would make it about 36 yrs ago! "I'll have a double cheeseburger with cole slaw please" < which is quite funny because I don't eat any of that stuff! Yes- if anyone finds archived videos PLEASE LET ME KNOW!
Woody - October 14, 2011 - Report this comment
I dont't recall it all, but the theme song went something like this: Lets follow queenie bee, its burger queeen for me, french fries, chocolate shakes.... . I managed #31 it opened in october 1971. It changed to druthers around 1976??.
Chuck - April 10, 2012 - Report this comment
I have clear memories of the Burger Queen in Winter Haven across from the Winter Haven Mall. My mom took my brother Russell and I there many times throughout the 70's. I even remember learning a "birds and bees" lesson there one day thanks to a young lady that had a red "stain" on the back of her skirt. Thanks Mama Nat!
Kat - April 12, 2012 - Report this comment
I also was in a Burger Queen commercial. It was Filmed in Inverness Fla. back in the 70's.
skygazer - July 14, 2012 - Report this comment
I managed several Burger Queen locations in Louisville from Oct 1976 until July 1978. i don't believe they changed to Druthers until 1980. they went to England and could not deface the Queen, or so was the story I heard. I was with another fast food chain by then.
Randall Hamm - September 29, 2012 - Report this comment
As I've heard, Burger King was not too fond of the name Burger Queen. Way too close for their liking. Druthers was a unique name. If you had your Druthers where would you go ?. I thought that was a unique name for a restaurant and the jingle.. I'd Rather Got To Druthers Restaurant...
allis1942 - October 02, 2012 - Report this comment
As some have already said, before there was a Wendy's, before there was a McDonalds, before Burger King...there was Burger Queen. Yes, I remember the plastic Queen Bee rings...does anyone remember the iron-ons of Queenie Bee? Somewhere, there is a picture of me from 1974 with that iron-on on the front of my pajama shirt...can remember going there on Saturday nights with my parents and an older couple who lived nearby....was so excited to be able to go there, because as many have said, BQ was the only fast food show in town! Druther's hamburgers by the sackful too....simpler times!!! Kids today don't know what good is.
80s-BQer - November 12, 2012 - Report this comment
I worked at the BQ in Punta Gorda, FL for almost all of my high school years. I was just reminiscing about the chicken at BQ. I've never found another place that tops the BQ flavor. If I would have known then that BQ wouldn't be around forever...I would have written down the seasonings I put in that breading.
Rob Stone - February 20, 2013 - Report this comment
I was an assistant manager in 1972 at the BQ in Jeffersonville. The dayshift manager was Cliff Kuhl and store manager was Bill McClennan, I think that is right. Corporate store where they shot some of the BQ commercials. I think my favorite ever fish sandwich was ours, rye bread tartar sauce cheese and a great cut of fish, 2 pieces of course! The chicken was the best also I think, I had worked @ KFC also and still thought we did better! Good ol' days!!!
matt - March 07, 2013 - Report this comment
Loved to eat at and circle BQ in the 70s in Somerset. The owner was a nice guy. It opened around the time several other fast food did and everyone would go out at night and circle them up and down 27 and talk on their CBs.So many friends worked there. We would go visit the managers, most friends from school, and if they had any chicken left at closing they would give it to us.It was swamped on summer weekends with all the out of towners visiting the lake. The bigger the crowd the better. Every parking space full. Alot of funny things happened out on the strip. One night I was getting gas on the corner of Langdon and 27 where they sometimes sold wrecked cars. They had a 55 black Ford wreck that had the roof ripped clean off with raw metal posts. The man said it was $200 and would be easy to put a new top on. I actually thought about buying and asked if I could test drive thinking it would be cool to circle the fast foods. I circled them all with my friends BQ, Finleys, pizza hut, A&W, Mcd,Scottys, even Holiday Inn. Got alot of laughs and yells but with that big open side window BQ had we got the most there. Even went down to Monticello to visit our friends at BQ.
Calvin - March 08, 2013 - Report this comment
I think the end of Cheech and Chongs skit from the 70s, Pedro at the drive inn they say, wanna go cruise the Burger Queen. I wonder if they refer to the Burger Queen we knew in Ky or was there another one in california .
Richard W. - April 17, 2013 - Report this comment
I remember back in the 70's BQ was filming a commercial in Arcadia, FL with the late Jonathan Winters. I got the chance to meet the man filming with Queenie Bee. He was a comic genius but as every human, he had his problems. My condolences to his family, he will be missed along with Burger Queen.
Ruthie - May 30, 2013 - Report this comment
We had a Burger Queen here in Shepherdsville, KY... the kids and myself just loved it... and I still have several Queenie Bee rings and the paper sack they put them in when we got the rings...what wonderful memories... now my children are grown .. in fact even the grandchildren are grown...
Connor - June 05, 2013 - Report this comment
I found this site when trying to prove to my husband that there WAS a Burger Queen. He thought I was making it up. There was a BQ in Madisonville Kentucky. All the teenagers used to "circle" the BQ, then drive down Mainstreet to circle the Dairy Queen, then back again, and again and again. I couldn't wait until I was old enough to do so too. Loved BQ.
Abby - May 21, 2014 - Report this comment
Hey! I found this webpage while trying to learn more about. I have an illustrated poster of Louisville from 1979, and the artist has drawn a Burger Queen on every corner. I wish I could attach a pic!
Davi lee - June 11, 2014 - Report this comment
There was a burger queen on hintingburg indiana,,in 70's
Stan - July 06, 2014 - Report this comment
Clarifications: Druther's in Campbellsville KY remains open as of July '14. The name switch from Burger Queen occurred in 1981. The objective of the name change was to position the restaurants as what would be called fast-casual today. The mascot of their kid combo is Andy Dandytale. Their mascot from 1963 to 1977 was Queenie Bee. Burger Chef is an entirely unrelated company acquired by the parent of Hardee's also in 1981. The Imperial was their quarter-pound burger. The Royal was their double-decker which was served with tartar sauce instead of thousand island. Burger King was never involved, but it was Dairy Queen who pressed suit leading to the resolution that they could not provide any dairy product. The company was founded in central Florida in 1961, but the Louisville-area franchiser purchased the entire corp. with the Florida stores becoming a franchise. Druther's Systems Int'l was purchased by Dairy Queen in 1997 and took the name. A restaurant in Taichung, Taiwan is using the name and logos today.
eporter - July 26, 2014 - Report this comment
I have a pendent from burger queen. Looks like it has emeralds and diamonds and is made out of gold and silver. Does anyone have any information please let me know.
Satoru Iwata - August 31, 2014 - Report this comment
I always liked the Burger Queen Commercial in 1977. I worked in Punta Gorda. Please make me a tasty fried chicken. But what about chicken nuggets...?
Albrack - November 23, 2014 - Report this comment
Remember Burger Quees as a college student in Morehead Ky. Only one I ever knew of!
RLW - December 04, 2014 - Report this comment
My first job was a two-year opportunity at BQ in Carrollton, KY - 1978-79. Very familiar with the menu STILL. Very well managed store- weighed fries that could only be out of the fryer 7 min before thrown out- take note MD and we had speed trials constantly. Unlike MD where they start the clock AFTER you pay, we had to do it from the time of entering the door- 3 minutes- with the ONLY allowance of customer decision time. We sold everything- fish-n-chips, lots of fried chicken, cole slaw, fries, apple/lemon/cherry pies, Imperial/Royal and other burgers. I actually really liked their food though I tended to get the double cheese or a double decker Royal the most. The fish sandwich was delish. We marinated the chicken and made our own cole slaw continuously it seemed. I remember the worst thing was breaking the blood vein on thighs marinating,then breading them. We worked hard for our $2.65/hr!!!!
RLW - December 04, 2014 - Report this comment
@Stan yes you corrected several things. I will add though that they DID use Queenie Bee through my entre work time with them both on their signs, materials and commercials in our area- that was through 1979. So even beyond the years you mention. It was a good chain. The one thing I came away with was what good management impacts. We had no eating behind the counter and never free food. We were not allowed to clean during peak periods unless on dining duty and would be in serious trouble if we left cleaning materials around in the open. Today's chains are all about slow service. We at peak had 6 people at a time. Compare that to MD who runs large staff and still is slow, dirty and leaves cleaning towels, mops etc all over and poeple stand around and talk.
Vicki - January 06, 2015 - Report this comment
Tim Wooten, do you remember if the Burger Queen in Seymour IN eventually became a Druthers? I was manager there 74/75. email
Susie - May 12, 2015 - Report this comment
I loved burger queen now I'm married to burger king.
Brad G. - May 30, 2015 - Report this comment
Some great memories. I remember eating ghere as a little boy with my Mom.They put the cheeseburgers in clear platic bags which sticks out for some reason. But the burgers were great. We would eat there while waiting on my moms prescriptions to be filled. I would read comics and stuff my face :) such a special time!
Eddie Mitchell - June 28, 2015 - Report this comment
I just bought a little cabinet at a yard sale yesterday and it had a Burger Queen sticker stuck inside one door! Brought back a lot of memories. We had a BQ in Leitchfield, KY when I was growing up. It was about the only "fast" food we had at that time. When it changed to Druthers, I loved the fish and chips. Better than Long John Silvers!
sandy waddell - September 30, 2015 - Report this comment
Yes they was a burger queen and a druthers in morehead i loved it
KYguyinGA - October 08, 2015 - Report this comment
I was the "star" of "the Bee Buddy Theatre" series of Burger Queen commercials in the mid-70s as a 5th-7th grader growing up in J-town (Jeffersontown) KY. The $$ from doing those commercials (and many other local ads) ended up paying for a good part of my education at UK a few years later (graduated from UK in 1986). At the time I was a member of the Louisville Boy Choir, and an ad firm based in southern IN came to our rehearsals and scouted us for TV ad talent. I guess I showed that b/c they chose me. The Bee Buddy Theatre was a series of about 15 or so 1-minute TV ads that featured me as an "emcee" of sorts for what was to appear to be a kids homemade, backyard kind of theatre starring Queenie Bee of course. The ads were promoting Burger Queen's kids meals and the prizes that came in them. I was dressed up in adult, over-sized clothing, wore a black top hat, velvet suit coat, bow tie, etc. The crowd was a bunch of really young kids who all freaked out whenever Queenie Bee showed up. I got to chat and hang out with the actress that played QB over the months we shot those ads...from what I remember, a very nice lady. Poor lady had to wear all that make up (complete white face, black nose, huge black eyelashes, and ridiculous yellow and black bee suit, bee antennae, etc). We filmed these in a soundstage inside a production studio in Jeffersonville, IN I think...I was too young to drive of course, but my Mom drove me and I think that's where we went. I also did radio and TV for Thornbury's Toys, Bacon's dept store, and Kingfish. Sure would like to see those ads again...that would be a hoot! I live in ATL, GA now and have since 1987.
Molly1RN - November 06, 2015 - Report this comment
I was in a Burger Queen commercial around 1977 (I believe it was in Henderson, KY). I did a basic google search with those keywords, but didn't find any matching videos. Has anyone had any luck finding these old advertisements? I'd love to see mine since I have no memory of the event other than a vague recollection of people telling me to smile & eat my French fries...but I was only 3 or so years old :)
Sha Na Na - December 05, 2015 - Report this comment
In the early 1970s, I played industrial league softball in Georgetown, Kentucky. Our sponsor was the local Burger Queen, where we ate after every game.
Larry - February 19, 2016 - Report this comment
ther is a link on facebook just type in druthers res. and it shows a clip of the commercial.I worked at the one on taylor and aquian in Louisville when i was younger.around derby you have the jockeys come in and get coffee and biscuits and gravy we were only a couple of blocks from churchill downs there is only one left and thats in campbells ky
Frank - March 27, 2016 - Report this comment
Does anyone how to make the sauce they had on their burgers back in the day?
Gary - January 18, 2017 - Report this comment
You can find information about the only Druther's/Burger Queen left in existence on their Facebook Page. Just search for DruthersRestaurant (yes, all one word). I used to eat there a lot when I was a kid, and I still eat there from time to time. Maybe get me some breakfast on the weekends or drop by and grab me an Royal Burger and fries. Salad bar is the same as you'll remember it too. :) It's in Campbellsville, Ky, middle of the state. Eight-five miles from Louisville, Lexington, and Bowling Green, Ky. Tell Steve I sent ya. ;)
B - March 28, 2017 - Report this comment
I worked there too. The Royal Burger sauce was just our tartar sauce.
somerset - March 28, 2017 - Report this comment
Was the old Druthers in downtown Somerset a Burger Queen at one time?
Spencer D - August 16, 2017 - Report this comment
Yes it was numbnutz
Prattnation - August 26, 2017 - Report this comment
No need to be rude Spencer D.
Spencer D - February 24, 2018 - Report this comment
Bring it on homey!
Prattnation - March 17, 2018 - Report this comment
I'll slap you and yo mamma.
J - April 15, 2018 - Report this comment
I was also in a Burger Queen commercial. It was shot in black and white with a Charlie Chaplin like character. I was the BQ server. We shot it late at night after the BQ was closed. It was a lot of fun and Icwas recognized by some patrons at a later date. “You are that BQ girl.” Would like to see it today!
Mary - April 19, 2018 - Report this comment
J... Which BQ was the commercial shot at?
J - May 14, 2018 - Report this comment
None of your biz Mary, you slut.
Brian Easley - May 18, 2018 - Report this comment
The company is still around, search for Druther's Systems on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Most all the old stores are Dairy Queens now. The last Druther's Restaurant in the world is in Campbellsville, KY and is still open. Part of the deal when converting to Dairy Queen. If there was already a DQ in the town, you could either close shop or go it completely independent. Over a dozen Druther's went on their own after 1990, but only one survived. Harold Kite opened the first Burger Queen in 1958 around Tampa, Florida. In 1961, George Clark and Mick Gannon paid $5,000 for a franchise and permission to bring the chain to Kentucky. The rebrand to Druther's Restaurants happened in 1980. We were in 6 countries I think. In the United Kingdom the stores were called Huckleberry's, so as not to offend the Queen, I guess. Conversion to Dairy Queen happened in 1990. A big chunk of the stores actually became a division on Dairy Queen in the mid 90s, Dairy Queen Corporate Stores. The bulk of the old Druther's stores are now owned by DQ Fourteen Foods, and Druther's Systems still co-owns several Dairy Queens in Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia. If anyone has any questions or would like to share photos or memories, please email me, I'm the Vice President of Druther's and I'm putting a book together. Thanks. -Brian Easley Druther's Systems
Buford - June 09, 2018 - Report this comment
When did the Rally's in Somerset close?
S Watts - August 07, 2018 - Report this comment
I worked at a Burger Queen in Pompano Beach, Florida. I've always told everyone that their burger looked like the whopper but for some reason it tasted way better.
Ron - February 02, 2019 - Report this comment
We had a BQ in Radcliff, KY in the late 60's and 70's, long before there was ever a McD or BK. We also had a Jerry's Drive-in, a Dog n Suds, and a Hotties Hamburgers. Cruised the parking lots of all of them, especially on the weekends. Great times. The food at Burger Queen was always by far the best. Especially the Royal Burgers.
A. Wolf - June 28, 2019 - Report this comment
Let’s follow Queenie Bee, it’s Burger Queen for me. My neighbor was in one of the commercials. I used to stop at the one in J-town in my way to the skating rink. Cheeseburger, fries, and small coke was .99.
C. Perry - August 07, 2019 - Report this comment
I worked in the Jackson, TN Burger Queen from early 1977 to late 1977. The owners were Myrna and Gene Baskette, and they built it brand new. I loved the food there. My favorite was the Royal Burger with lettuce, tarter sauce and cheese with two patties and a triple bun. Gene used to say "if there is time to lean, there is time to clean". He ran a tight ship. We were located near downtown, and we had a customer base from all of the downtown workers. I could run a drive thru window with great speed. Gene would always tell us to say "will that be a large fry or will that be a large coke" when someone ordered and didn't specify size. He also checked the parking lot for trash and would tell us not to waste ketchup packages by giving too much. If he found them on the lot thrown out unopened, he thought we were giving too much. I enjoyed this first job that I had. I have a Burger Queen license plate that was on my car back then. The chicken was a big hit in this southern town. I wish it was still there just like in 1977! I really thought I was moving up when I got a job at a shoe store at the mall and didn't go home smelling like food cooking.
“Yale” Butler - February 22, 2021 - Report this comment
I played the Southern Belle in a Druthers Restaurant commercial when they changed their name from Burger Queen to Druther’s. My lines, “ Forget about the others and go to Druther’s! The process was exciting!
Rob Lambert - March 30, 2021 - Report this comment
The "Life In America" series of historic videos has one on the Burger Queen story. Burger Queen started in central Florida in 1953. The chain expanded to Kentucky five years later. More stores opened in other mid-south states. In a move to modernize, Burger Queen became Druther's in 1981. Handy Andy replaced Queen Bee as mascot. By 1990, Druther's was acquired by Dairy Queen. To avoid saturation of Dairy Queen stores, some Druther's stores were allowed to retain that name, but to operate as independent restaurants.

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