Jack Simmons, owner and manager of Burgermaster on Evergreen Way in Everett, is closing the restaurant. He has been in the restaurant business nearly 40 years. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

Jack Simmons, owner and manager of Burgermaster on Evergreen Way in Everett, is closing the restaurant. He has been in the restaurant business nearly 40 years. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

Burgermaster’s regulars will miss more than its classic menu

With the sale of restaurant’s property on Evergreen Way, a MOD Pizza outlet is coming to Everett.

As a trio of Everett police officers left their table at Burgermaster on Thursday, Mike Kapustin walked in for his daily breakfast. That’s right, daily — and nearly always the same order, a Number 2, with scrambled eggs, hash browns, toast and sausage, or sometimes ham.

Next week, the 82-year-old Snohomish man will have to find a new eatery. The Everett Burgermaster, since 2005 a popular spot at 7909 Evergreen Way, is closing its doors permanently at the end of business Sunday.

Jack Simmons, owner and manager of the Everett franchise location, “is retiring to garden, play tennis and spend time with his grandchildren,” said an announcement of the restaurant closure. At the Burgermaster on Wednesday, Simmons said he’s selling the property, a former Burger King location, to another food purveyor, Bellevue-based MOD Pizza.

“Evergreen Way — Everett, WA,” says a page on the MOD Pizza website, “Coming Soon.”

After bowling at nearby Glacier Lanes, Mike Kapustin, 82, (left), always eats breakfast at Burgermaster, which is owned by Jack Simmons’ (right). Simmons is retiring and has sold the place to MOD Pizza. Kapustin and Simmons talk, and laugh a bit, yet each admits he’ll miss the other. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

After bowling at nearby Glacier Lanes, Mike Kapustin, 82, (left), always eats breakfast at Burgermaster, which is owned by Jack Simmons’ (right). Simmons is retiring and has sold the place to MOD Pizza. Kapustin and Simmons talk, and laugh a bit, yet each admits he’ll miss the other. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

No more will Burgermaster regulars find their favorites — classic burgers and milkshakes, BBQ pork ribs, spaghetti and garlic bread, even Swedish pancakes — at the Everett location. Other Burgermaster restaurants remain, one near Mill Creek on the Bothell Everett Highway, and others in Bellevue, Mount Vernon, on Aurora Avenue in north Seattle, and the original near Seattle’s University Village.

As customers said their hellos and goodbyes, Simmons talked this week about his four decades in the restaurant business. The Shoreline man spent most of those years with Burgermaster, which was founded in 1952 by his father-in-law, Phil Jensen, who died in 2009. Phil Jensen’s widow, Mary Jensen, will soon turn 100, Simmons said.

His wife, Michele Simmons, the Jensens’ daughter, said she and her three siblings grew up with Burgermaster. “I have cooked french fries and been a carhop. One memory is spilling a large Coke on a customer,” she said.

Michele Simmons said her brother, Bob Jensen, is now Burgermaster’s CEO, and his son, Alex Jensen, bought the business and is its president. “It’s the third generation,” she said.

It’s easy to see why Tom and Carol Lee of Marysville have been regular customers the last 10 years at Everett’s Burgermaster. For breakfast, she likes scrambled eggs and waffles. He likes a hamburger, fries and a soda. The restaurant is closing Sunday. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

It’s easy to see why Tom and Carol Lee of Marysville have been regular customers the last 10 years at Everett’s Burgermaster. For breakfast, she likes scrambled eggs and waffles. He likes a hamburger, fries and a soda. The restaurant is closing Sunday. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

Marysville’s Tom Lee and his wife, Carol, were enjoying breakfast at the Everett Burgermaster Thursday. Although it was early, Tom Lee had a burger while his wife ate a waffle. “The thing is, he’s always here,” Tom Lee said of Jack Simmons.

“Whenever you see the owner, you’re sure to get the best service. I can’t blame him for wanting to retire, but it’s too bad. The food is always consistently good,” said Tom Lee, who once worked near the UW’s Seattle campus and the Burgermaster there.

Now an inside restaurant, that first Burgermaster on Seattle’s NE 45th Street began as a 1950s-style drive-in. It had carhops, à la “American Graffiti,” which the Mill Creek Burgermaster and three others still have, Michele Simmons said. The Everett location instead has a drive-through, left from its Burger King days.

“We don’t consider ourselves fast food. We’re quick service,” said Jack Simmons, adding that food isn’t prepared until someone orders it.

The Burgermaster on Bellevue’s Northup Way was often frequented by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in the company’s early days, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal and the 1993 book “Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire.” The book by James Wallace and Jim Erickson described Gates’ favorite Burgermaster meal: “hamburger, fries, and a chocolate shake.”

“I think he’s still a customer,” said Michele Simmons, but added “I’ve never waited on him.”

While it hasn’t been on the Everett scene for decades, loyal customers have made the Burgermaster here an institution of sorts. Along with Kennelly Keys Music, the restaurant has hosted an annual hot rods and muscle cars show. A group of classic car enthusiasts, the Thursday Night Garage Association, has made the Evergreen Way Burgermaster its meeting place.

Richard Rauch, 67, of Edmonds, stops in for breakfast at Burgermaster on Evergreen Way in Everett Thursday before going to his job of taking kids to school. Rauch is a regular at the restaurant, which will close permanently on Sunday. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

Richard Rauch, 67, of Edmonds, stops in for breakfast at Burgermaster on Evergreen Way in Everett Thursday before going to his job of taking kids to school. Rauch is a regular at the restaurant, which will close permanently on Sunday. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

Rich Rauch, of Edmonds, had a Burgermaster breakfast Thursday. Asked if he’s a regular, the 67-year-old said, “I would be if they weren’t closing.”

Kapustin, the daily customer from Snohomish, could only say “grrrr” in reply to news of the closure. “I’m a fussy eater,” the Boeing retiree said. “This place does everything right.” A morning bowler, he’s planning to try breakfast at nearby Glacier Lanes.

Neither owner nor customer will forget the place that served up friendship along with hearty meals.

“Yes sir, I’m going to miss you,” Simmons told Kapustin Thursday. The diner echoed that sentiment. “I’m going to miss you,” Kapustin said.

Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; jmuhlstein@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

A car breaks and waits for traffic to pass before turning onto 123rd Avenue on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021 in Lake Stevens, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Can roundabouts, lower speed limit make 84th Street NE safer?

Maybe, but transportation and disability advocates want design features to make crossing safe.

Two brother bear cubs, burned in a fire last summer, were recently reunited at PAWS in Lynnwood. (PAWS) 20211129
Bear cubs, burned in wildfires, reunited in viral video in Lynnwood

The brother cubs are being treated at PAWS Wildlife Center. They were injured in a wildfire near Lake Chelan.

A fatal crash prompted closure of West Mukilteo Boulevard between Forest Park and Dogwood Drive Friday afternoon. (Everett Police Department) 20211126
2 identified in deadly T-bone crash in Everett

Otila Retel Azanedo de Jones, 67, and William Jones, 85, died at the scene.

Reagan Dunn to take on U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier in 8th District

The Republican is challenging incumbent Democrat Kim Schrier in a district which could include a slice of Snohomish County.

A man died after he was found with gunshot wounds Saturday in downtown Everett. (Caleb Hutton / The Herald)
Man dead after shooting in downtown Everett

The man, believed to be in his 40s, was found near California Street and Rockefeller Avenue.

Rear Adm. Christopher Sweeney, commander of Puget Sound-based Carrier Strike Group 11, in Bremerton on Nov. 23, 2021. (U.S. Navy/MC3 Justin McTaggart)
From Everett, this rear admiral commands a Navy strike group

Christopher Sweeney leads Carrier Strike Group 11, a force of aircraft and ships stretching from here to San Diego.

Charges: Everett ID thief tried to buy wheels, speakers, more

The man, 33, was charged this week with 10 counts of identity theft in Snohomish County Superior Court.

The Pacific Ice rink under construction at Port of Everett on Friday, Nov. 26, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Port of Everett unveils seasonal ice rink on the waterfront

The outdoor rink will be open through the end of January. The port plans for it to return annually.

Everett officials have questions about a 125-room hotel shelter

City Council members say they weren’t aware of the county’s proposal until it made headlines.

Most Read