A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from March 07, 2012
Waterburger (Whataburger nickname/pronunciation)

Whataburger is a chain of fast food restaurants (specializing in the “Whataburger” hamburger) that began in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1950. People often call “Whataburger” as “Waterburger,” either by accident or in jest.

“Waterburger” has been cited in print since at least 1979.

Wikipedia: Whataburger
Whataburger is a privately held, regional restaurant chain specializing in hamburgers. The company, founded by Harmon Dobson, opened its first restaurant in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1950. Today, Whataburger Restaurants, LP is still owned and operated by the Dobson family and has nearly 700 locations in the United States (Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia).

Whataburger is known for its distinctive A-framed, orange and white-stripe-roofed buildings. The first A-frame restaurant still standing was built in Odessa, Texas. Over a dozen are still in operation.

Urban Dictionary
See Whataburger.
The Brown communities term for Whataburger.
Shi, man. I’m Starvin.’ Let’s get some Waterburger.
by Joe May 30, 2004

Urban Dictionary
by Captain Panther Nov 10, 2009

Calling Whataburger “Water-Burger”
They should just change the name of the restaurant

Google Books
July 1979, Texas Monthly, “Fast Food Speed Freak” by Stephen Harrigan, pg. 110, col. 2:
“It’s a Waterburger,” he said. “It weighs a quarter pound and it costs thirty- five cents.”

I watched longly as he ate it. The fact that I thought it was called a Waterburger only added to its mystique.

A few days later I ate my first Whataburger at one of its three Corpus Christi locations.

Google Books
True Vine:
A young Black man’s journey of faith, hope, and clarity

By John W. Fountain
New York, NY: PublicAffairs
Pg. 21:
Whenever we traveled to Memphis, Grandpa always stopped at his hometown in Pulaski to see old friends, and then again in Cairo, Illinois, where we stopped to eat at a restaurant called Whataburger, pronounced by us kids as “Waterburger.”

Google Books
The Smell of Old Lady Perfume
By Claudia Guadalupe Martinez
El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press
Pg. 70:
He opened the double cab door and pulled out a pair of red and white Whataburger bags. “Waterburger!” Clark squealed.

Burgers and bikes coexist peacefully in S.A.
By Brian Chasnoff, Express-News columnist
Updated 12:11 a.m., Saturday, February 25, 2012
The second news item: Whataburger is opening downtown on Monday.

The fast-food burger joint has been around since 1950, when a man who loved burgers opened the first one in Corpus Christi. And it has existed in a gauzy, nostalgic chamber of my heart at least since the 1980s.

This goes back to my early childhood in San Antonio, when my mother would take me to a weird, orange-and-white triangular building that looked like a spaceship and was called “Waterburger.”

I couldn’t understand why it was called that because the burgers were not watery. But they were good.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Wednesday, March 07, 2012 • Permalink