On Aug. 30, Burger Stop closed for good in order to make room for the right of ways for the I-5 Freeway/Avenida Pico expansion project. The business had been a staple of San Clemente for decades. Photo: Bud Hahn
On Aug. 30, Burger Stop closed for good in order to make room for the right of ways for the I-5 Freeway/Avenida Pico expansion project. The business had been a staple of San Clemente for decades. Photo: Bud Hahn

By Tom and Vonne Barnes, San Clemente

We just stopped by the Burger Stop for our last double cheese and cheese burger, as this icon will be permanently closed on Sept. 1 after a 34-year run. With a ready smile and uncommon efficiency, owner-cook-server Nayer Henderson has met our burger, chili dog, fries, onion rings, etc. needs, without fail, seven days a week for all these years.

Cooked to order with fresh ingredients, the independent “mom and pop” Burger Stop supplied our fast food at affordable prices in an open air eating experience. As we look up at the mass of freeway concrete replacing it, we wonder about the cost of “progress.” Life in San Clemente is diminished by the closure of this treasured eatery—another successful small business sacrificed to “progress.” Its loss, even with its mid-century American architecture style, tears away a piece of our “Spanish Village by the Sea.”

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