After anonymous complaint, Clown Burger’s iconic sign is now getting ‘fancy britches’

Kari Snodgrass was surprised when she got a letter from Haltom City’s code enforcement department last month telling her to repaint the well-known signs advertising the 60-year-old eatery Clown Burger.

Snodgrass and her husband don’t have any hard feelings toward Haltom City, saying there was a “miscommunication.” She and her husband are spending their Saturdays putting new coats of paint on the tall sign along Haltom Road and on the wall of the building.

Snodgrass said the signs have been in place for 20 years, and no one complained about them.

The signs are a throwback to when the restaurant opened in 1959, and the cheese burgers haven’t changed either.

“Our clown is getting a makeover; he has fancy britches now,” Snodgrass said.

Snodgrass said she and her husband appreciate the outpouring of support when word got out about the signs on social media but said she would rather do the work.

Snodgrass said she is working from the bottom up to get the painting done. “We should have started from the top, we are doing this backwards,” she said.

Rex Phelps, assistant city manager, said the code enforcement department got an anonymous complaint about the appearance of the shopping center where Clown Burger is located. The dumpster wasn’t screened in, and the person also complained about the peeling paint on the signs at Clown Burger.

Phelps added that the shopping center owner is also cooperating and cleaning up the property.

In the past, officials got complaints about the need to “clean up” Haltom City, Phelps said.

For a while, the city was down to one code enforcement officer, but now there are more officers, he said.

Phelps said he spoke with Snodgrass and said she will have as much time as she needs to repaint the signs as long as there is progress.

“We have to be fair about it; we told them (Clown Burger owners) that you have to freshen up the signs,” he said. “We love the Clown Burger, and we don’t want the clown to go away.”

A freshly painted sign will show people that the Clown Burger is thriving, he said.

“A bright, painted sign symbolizes a bright future, not just a bright past,” Phelps said.

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With my guide dog Barbara, I keep tabs on growth, economic development and other issues in Northeast Tarrant cities and other communities near Fort Worth. I’ve been a reporter at the Star-Telegram for 34 years.