You’ll find burgers, teriyaki, milkshakes and bubble tea at the Burger Mill in Marysville. (Sara Bruestle/The Herald)

You’ll find burgers, teriyaki, milkshakes and bubble tea at the Burger Mill in Marysville. (Sara Bruestle/The Herald)

New owner has big plans for venerable Marysville Burger Mill

The drive-in has been dishing up fast food since the 1970s, when an Arctic Circle was there.

MARYSVILLE — The last time I set foot in the building that houses Burger Mill, it was the mid-1970s and Marysville High School was across the street (Pilchuck was still a separate school up north at the new campus, in what was then still largely a farming area). Back then, the drive-in was known as Arctic Circle.

As I recall, Arctic Circle boasted that its burgers cost only 19 cents. That’s about a buck in today’s money.

Since you can’t get a good hamburger today for $1, it’s probably safe to assume that Arctic Circle’s 19-cent burgers were awful. That may well be why my family preferred the Big Chief Drive-In, up north a ways on State Avenue.

Fast-forward to today. The Arctic Circle chain has long since retreated to its home state of Utah, and a restaurant called Burger Mill has been operating at the location for some time now. And with some success, as attested by the “Readers’ Choice” best-burger certificates bestowed by local newspapers in the 1990s and still hanging above the order counter.

Now, new owner Ken Youn is writing a new chapter in the place’s history.

A Mill Burger cheeseburger with fries is $8.99 at the Burger Mill in Marysville. (Sara Bruestle/The Herald)

A Mill Burger cheeseburger with fries is $8.99 at the Burger Mill in Marysville. (Sara Bruestle/The Herald)

Youn has owned several teriyaki and sushi places during his 40-year career in the food-service business. This is his first burger restaurant, and he says he has big plans for the place that he took over three months ago.

“I want to turn it into an icon for Marysville,” Youn, of Smokey Point, said during a brief break from his busy workday.

But much remains to be done before that happens, he said. He’s training staff and reorganizing and updating the kitchen to make things run more smoothly. After that’s accomplished, he’ll start tweaking the menu — starting with what he knows best, teriyaki.

For now, the menu includes all the Burger Mill tried-and-trues, from the ⅓-pound Mill Burger ($5.99) to the waistline-expanding ⅔-pound Meat Lover Burger ($7.99), with pretty much every imaginable type of burger in between. If you don’t want a burger, there are a variety of other sandwich options. Of course, everything comes with fries if you want.

The teriyaki menu consists of chicken and bweef, regular or spicy, at prices ranging from $5.59 for a small order to $11.99 for combos. My colleague Sara Bruestle chose Spicy Chicken ($9.99) during our visit last week. The heat came from a dark-red sauce made by Youn. It’s the same sauce he’s used for some of his sushi dishes.

“It wasn’t the best teriyaki I’ve ever had, but the red sauce on the spicy (all breast meat!) chicken was an exciting change to your run-of-the-mill chicken teriyaki plate,” Sara said.

The Spicy Chicken teriyaki at Burger Mill is made with breast meat and comes with a side salad. It costs $9.99. (Sara Bruestle/The Herald)

The Spicy Chicken teriyaki at Burger Mill is made with breast meat and comes with a side salad. It costs $9.99. (Sara Bruestle/The Herald)

Youn also customized the ranch-like condiment that dressed the salad accompanying the teriyaki.

Sara ordered a bubble tea with taro, coconut and tapioca ($4.49), which surely would have blown minds back at the old Arctic Circle in 1975.

I decided to stick with tradition and order a Mill Burger with fries ($8.99 with cheese on the patty and fries on the side). I washed it down with a chocolate milkshake ($2.99), something I haven’t ordered in forever but definitely would have gone for back in ‘75.

Together, the burger, fries and shake probably checked in at around 2,000 calories — which, of course, means they tasted mighty good. That said, I restricted myself to a small salad for dinner that night.

All of this was consumed at one of the picnic tables in the Burger Mill’s rustic dining area. Outside, a steady stream of drive-thru orders kept the grillman on his toes.

The Burger Mill may look frozen in time now, but Youn says that will change, “step by step.”

“All of it is going to be brand-new and very nice,” he said.

If you go

Burger Mill, 707 State Ave., Marysville, is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Closed Sunday. Call 360-659-1955 or go find the Burger Mill on Facebook.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Life

Whidbey duo uses fencing to teach self-discipline, sportsmanship to youth

Bob Tearse and Joseph Kleinman are sharing their sword-fighting expertise with young people on south Whidbey Island.

Lily Gladstone poses at the premiere of the Hulu miniseries "Under the Bridge" at the DGA Theatre, Monday, April 15, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Mountlake Terrace’s Lily Gladstone plays cop in Hulu’s ‘Under the Bridge’

The true-crime drama started streaming Wednesday. It’s Gladstone’s first part since her star turn in “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

A giant Bigfoot creation made by Terry Carrigan, 60, at his home-based Skywater Studios on Sunday, April 14, 2024 in Monroe, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
The 1,500-pound Sasquatch: Bigfoot comes to life in woods near Monroe

A possibly larger-than-life sculpture, created by Terry Carrigan of Skywater Studios, will be featured at this weekend’s “Oddmall” expo.

Craig Chambers takes orders while working behind the bar at Obsidian Beer Hall on Friday, April 12, 2024, in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Obsidian Beer Hall takes over former Toggle’s space in downtown Everett

Beyond beer, the Black-owned taphouse boasts a chill vibe with plush sofas, art on the walls and hip-hop on the speakers.

Glimpse the ancient past in northeast England

Hadrian’s Wall stretches 73 miles across the isle. It’s still one of England’s most thought-provoking sights.

I accidentally paid twice for my hotel. Can I get a refund?

Why did Valeska Wehr pay twice for her stay at a Marriott property in Boston? And why won’t help her?

How do you want your kids to remember you when they grow up?

Childhood flies by, especially for parents. So how should we approach this limited time while our kids are still kids?

The Ford Maverick has seating for five passengers. Its cargo bed is 4.5 feet long. (Photo provided by Ford)
2024 Ford Maverick compact pickup undergoes a switch

The previous standard engine is now optional. The previous optional engine is now standard.

Dalton Dover performs during the 2023 CMA Fest on Friday, June 9, 2023, at the Spotify House in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

The Red Hot Chili Pipers come to Edmonds, and country artist Dalton Dover performs Friday as part of the Everett Stampede.

wisteria flower in Japan
Give your garden a whole new dimension with climbing plants

From clematis and jasmine to wisteria and honeysuckle, let any of these vine varieties creep into your heart – and garden.

Great Plant Pick: Dark Beauty Epimedium

What: New foliage on epimedium grandiflorum Dark Beauty, also known as Fairy… Continue reading

While not an Alberto, Diego or Bruno, this table is in a ‘Giacometti style’

Works by the Giacometti brothers are both valuable and influential. Other artists’ work is often said to be in their style.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.