This sign is located at N41 51.676 W80 56.639.
One heck of a salesman:
Burn’s Corner was located at the intersection of Old Lake Road and Lake Road, at the east end of The Strip. It was operating in 1950 but disappeared by the early 1960s.
Owned by John and June Burns, the restaurant was one of several sandwich shops on The Strip that offered “fast food,” such as sandwiches and French fries.
Louis DiFabio, who operated a stand across the street from Burns, recalls the proprietor as “a friendly, outgoing, boastful type person with a Tennessee drawl.”
He was one heck of a salesman and would do anything to make a dollar.
Burns had a hard childhood and adolescence; he went to work at the age of 14 washing dishes and worked as a carnival ride/game operator.
June Burns was a full-blooded Cherokee who was more fond of spinning stories at the barbecue and other shops on The Strip than working for her husband, who she called “Burnsie.”
Two local newspaper articles tell of June Burns fascination with Indian lore. An undated article, most likely from the 1950s. states that “collecting Indian lore is a hobby of Mrs. Burns and she has in her collection, books, spear and arrow heads, skinning stones, tomahawks, beaded bags, jewelry, leather items and searpes which are all hand woven. Included in her talk, Mrs. Burns told of the natural stones in the shape of tear drops which are called Apache tears and are considered good luck when worn.”
From 1961, a Gazette article: “Program chairman, Mrs. Roy Fuller, introduced the guest speaker, Mrs. June Burns, of Geneva-on-the-Lake, who spoke on her Indian collection, a part of which she had on display. In colorful Indian dance costume, Mrs. Burns explained the significance of the articles which has collected on vacation trips and visits to Indian reservations in many parts of the United States. She told of her Cherokee ancestry and the development of her interest in collecting Indian lore.”
This couple also ran a market, Burns’ Super Market, across from the barbecue stand, where “Survivors” bar used to be. The store was known as Seaman’s Grocery Store prior to Burns’ purchase. It also was a Laundromat.
“I was amused with Burnsie’s Grocery Store operation,” wrote Louis DiFabio in his memoir. “He would advertise and sell ‘boiled ham’ at 39 cents a pound and beer at the ‘lowest price in town.’ Everything else was overpriced and he did a lot of business. Some customers have said that when you ordered the ham that somehow you didn’t receive a full pound. When business was a little slow the old Carny would be out in front of his store wearing a cowboy hat waving and calling to people to come on in just like the old (carnival) days. In the evening he or his helper, Charlie Stokes, would stand out front with a flashlight and wave the cars into his back parking lot for $1.00 or $2.00, depending on the crowds. He was one heck of a salesman and would do anything to make a dollar.”
Burns’ Corner later became known as Dave’s Barbecue, evidenced by this ad from a 1960s visitors guide:
Peter Bozell of Cleveland purchased Burn’s in 1955.
Mary’s Kitchen continues to use Burn’s Texas Barbecue’s recipe for its sandwich.