Monday, April 28, 2008


Zack's famous street-side sign

Retro-style umbrellas out front

Interior seating has been added, but the original Bell's exterior walk-up window is still there

(Thanks to Rick Fisher for contributing all of the above photos!)

Original owners James & Anna Demopolous

Son George and wife Elaine are now in charge

1963 ad for Bell's Hamburgers Drive-In (Pineville Rd is now called South Blvd)

Zack's Hamburgers opened on South Blvd and Scaleybark in 1975. With established competition from South 21 (just two blocks away--though closed since last Fall) and Mr. K's (also just down the street), Zack's has survived and flourished with amazing hamburgers, hot dogs, and home made onion rings. Zack's is also known for its fried chicken and multiple favors of milk shakes. Originally owned and operated by James Demopolous, his son George has been at the helm for the last decade.

The building originally opened in 1961 as a Bell's Hamburgers Drive-In. The franchise was created by Glen Bell in California and was an early competitor to McDonald's (it's said that Bell's large walk-up order window was copied by McDonald's). Glen Bell eventually started selling hard-shell tacos at his West Coast locations which would lead to his creation of the Taco Bell chain. Inside Zack's, the original Bell's ordering window still exists. Over time, exterior walls were built  around the perimeter and interior seating was added, but customers still walk-up to the original window to place their orders.

Even in the face of continued competition from long-established neighbors and increased competition from area fast-food franchises, Zack's has continued for over 30 years and is still going strong.


  1. I lived in Charlotte between 1967 and 1973. I remember Bell Burgers and the infamous "Canniburger", a raw burger with a thick slice of raw onion. No thanks, I never had one. But the Appleburger was one that I picked up regularly, a burger with a slice of "pickled apple", it was cinnamonny red and sweet. Very good on the burger.

  2. I found Zacks as a young adult in 1986....what a place! You could get a Zack Burger and fries for $2.10....Absolutely loved the owner! My husband managed the convience store right in front of it and we spent many days eating Zacks!