Burkie’s is Delaware County’s oldest operating restaurant, having been open every season since 1954. The new owner, Troy Stovall, and his business partner, Jonah Sizemore, did not want to end that streak.
Stovall said he found Burkie’s on the Internet and knew nothing about Muncie, Indiana. He’s from Michigan and said he didn’t even know what a tenderloin was until visiting Burkie’s.
He looked at Burkie’s twice before deciding to make the purchase. Stovall said he sold his business and moved to Muncie to run Burkie’s along with Sizemore.
“I was just wondering if we were going to get people in to try our food and then I was overwhelmed … It went from that to the expectation of can we make everybody happy with our food,” Sizemore said.
Sizemore described the reaction to the reopening of Burkie’s as an “overwhelming batch of love and open arms from the community.”
“We’ve heard thank you I don’t know how many times that we have not let the place close and they’re thankful that we’re open, so it’s been a blessing,” Sizemore said.
Stovall and Sizemore completed an $80,000 renovation in about three months. They also restored the original neon sign, making it the oldest operational sign in Delaware County.
Stovall said he became good friends with the great grandson of the original owner. He gave him the recipe from the original tenderloin that they breaded in house starting in 1954. The tenderloin follows the original recipe with one exception.
“Our tenderloins are a little thicker, but we use a Canadian back tenderloin, cut them right in-house, pound them out and bread them,” Stovall said.
The new owners have kept the original menu, but expanded the dessert menu by adding 16 flavors of hard scoop ice cream. This allows them to serve ice cream cones, root beer floats, banana splits and more.
Burkie’s Drive-In is located at 1514 W. Jackson St. and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.