Restaurant That’s Missed: Jackson’s Wimpy Burger
Wimpy Burger is now just a footnote in Jackson's history, with many fans of the restaurant still around.
Leroy Crenshaw opened the first Wimpy Burger in 1953 at 1000 Francis Street. It was just a little eatery but people kept stopping and buying the huge burgers while downtown shopping or after seeing a movie.
With the success and public acceptance of Crenshaw's Wimpy Burger restaurant, Leroy opened a second location, at 3015 East Michigan Avenue.
Almost twenty more years went by and in 1974, Leroy opened his third and most iconic location: an old railroad car located past the old Bel-Air Drive-in movie theater at 3015 West Michigan Avenue.
A week later, the Wimpy Burger train car was robbed of $900. This, along with operating burger joints for over 20 years, persuaded Leroy to get out of the business a year later.
With new owners, the rail car was given new restaurant names; "The Coach", "The Coachman's Restaurant", and "Barney's Super Sirloin Burgers". After continually being robbed, the train car shut down for good and was disassembled.
On June 30, 1981, Leroy Crenshaw was found dead in his home in Michigan Center, down the road from the Rose City Post on Ford Avenue. A doctor concluded that Leroy was killed with a weapon like a cleaver or axe. The murderer was discovered to be a former employee of Leroy's, who killed him for his money.
He was sentenced to life without parole and is still serving his sentence.
Read more about Wimpy Burger and the murder in an article on mlive by CLICKING HERE.
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