Eats Beat

Before Whataburger, there was Clown Burger. After 60 years, it hasn’t changed

When all other burgers fail us, there is always Clown Burger.

Never franchised, always original, Clown Burger remains exactly the same as it was the day it opened in 1959, not far from the current location a mile south of Loop 820 off Haltom Road.

Clown Burger has a sign promising that the burgers “will taste exactly like the burger you would have ate in 1959.”

Grammar aside, the Clown keeps that promise.

The burgers are old-school, thin-patty double cheeseburgers that taste mostly of cheese, mustard and chopped white onions, just like way back when.

Years before the national burger clowns came to own, Clown Burger was feeding Fort Worth and Haltom City.

Kari Louthan now works the grill in place of her father, Bill. He retired after 53 years.

“The Clown is all I’ve known my whole life,” she said when she took over.

She’s kept it the same. But she’s also subtly made it better.

Grilled jalapenos (50 cents extra) are a great addition to the cheeseburgers. The burgers start at $2.79 and go up to $10.19 for a large 1-pound burger, six-by-six meat and cheese).

The chili-cheese fries ($4.89) and foot-long chili dogs ($2.79) taste like they used to, not like the flavorless plastic versions sold at modern-day chains.

There’s also now a kids’ meal of a small hamburger, hot dog or corny dog with fries, a fruit snack and juice drink ($4.59).

Louthan has postponed a 60th anniversary celebration to fall.

But she’s added Friday night hours, opening 5-9 p.m. Watch Facebook for updates on the hours and occasional early closings.

Clown Burger is open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday and for dinner Friday at 5010 Stanley Keller Road, on the corner at Haltom Road; 817-298-1477,

Columnist Bud Kennedy is a Fort Worth guy who covered high school football at 16 and has moved on to two Super Bowls, seven political conventions and 15 Texas Legislature sessions. Since 1985, he has also written more than 2,000 “Eats Beat” columns about Texas dining, restaurants and food.