B-K Root Beer - Benton Harbor MI

Address: 400 S Fair Ave
City: Benton Harbor
State: MI
Zip: 49022
County: Berrien
Number of visits to this page: 92
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General Information:

This was one of a few B-K restaurants in Michigan. This one was operating in the 1950's but probably changed names after that. I have seen the name expressed as BK, B-K, B.K. and B&K so it gets a little confusing running these places down. There is a building on the lot that could be a modified version of the original structure. Looking back at the 1969 aerial photo, the footprint of the building is unchanged from what is there now. The B-K chain was taken over by Tastee-Freez International in 1983. Some had already gone independent by that time.

From Wikipedia:

B-K Root Beer is an independent chain of drive-in fast-food restaurants, distinguished by their draft root beer and root beer floats. A midwestern chain, B-K restaurants are located in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. B-K stands for "Bergerson & Kenefick". The first one was built in Wabash, Indiana, in 1940.

At one time, there were 238 B-K drive-ins around Indiana and surrounding states. It was founded by Melvin and Mary Bergerson in the mid-1940s in Michigan City, Indiana.

The first B-K chain was founded in the mid-1940s in Wabash, Indiana. All of the current B-K Rootbeer restaurants are independently owned and operated.

The B-K Root Beer chain of drive-in restaurants became owned by DeNovo Corporation in Livonia, Michigan, of which David Chapoton was President. In the late 1980s, Dave sold the B-K trademarks to Burger King Corporation, which they then launched their new Grilled Chicken sandwich, the BK Broiler.

In 2016, the B-K trademarks were abandoned by Burger king, and David Hosticka of Michigan retained the trademark & patent attorney Jake W. Lombardo of Bolhouse, Baar & Hofstee, P.C. and attempted to re-register the B-K Root Beer trademarks for the purpose of supporting the 35 or so remaining drive-in locations, and possibly reviving the B-K Root Beer brand. The application was rejected by the US Patent and Trademark office, citing that the letters B-K are still currently registered by Burger King Corporation.

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 Photos:4
B-K Root Beer - 2012 Street View (newer photo)
2012 Street View (newer photo)
B-K Root Beer - 1969 Aerial (newer photo)
1969 Aerial (newer photo)
B-K Root Beer - Jul 1957 Ad (newer photo)
Jul 1957 Ad (newer photo)
B-K Root Beer - Nov 3 1983 Article About Tastee-Freez Taking Over B-K (newer photo)
Nov 3 1983 Article About Tastee-Freez Taking Over B-K (newer photo)
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