WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property. 

There are still quite a few Hardee’s locations throughout Michigan…lower and upper peninsulas.

The burger joint favorite was created by Wilber Hardee, who opened his first eatery in September 1960 in Greenville, North Carolina. He did amazingly well for a first-timer…so well, in fact, that after only a year he was ready to open even more locations.

Also in 1961, Wilbur lost control of his own company. When asked how that happened, he claimed he lost the controlling share to a couple of guys – Gardner and Rawls – who bested him in a poker game and won the rights to the restaurant. Realizing what happened, Wilbur ended up selling the rest of his shares to the two.

That was his version of the story.

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Gardner and Rawls went on record to say that they simply bought Wilbur out in 1961 and began franchising the Hardee’s name.

By 1964, the menu was a drive-in fan’s delight:
COFFEE, 10 cents
FRENCH FRIES, 10 cents
POP, 10 cents
MILK, 12 cents
HAMBURGER, 15 cents
MILK SHAKES, 20 cents

By 1969, there were roughly 200 Hardee’s in the Midwest and Southwest. Of course, new management changed what wasn’t broken and cut costs, changed the burger recipe, and eliminated menu items. They temporarily added new items like fried chicken and roast beef sandwiches to compete with KFC and Rax.

Hardee’s is still popular and there are a good many left in Michigan…except for this one in Benton Harbor. It closed and now sits abandoned, with the insides in shambles. Take a look inside and see!

Abandoned Hardee's Restaurant, Benton Harbor


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