UBurger Update

Back in December I wrote about a great new hamburger place in Kenmore Square, Uburger. I ate there again last night and made an interesting discovery — one that gets at tradition and continuity and change!

While waiting to pay for my double-cheese burger and fries, I had time to scrutinize some onion rings they were getting ready to serve. Something about the light batter seemed familiar…I exclaimed, “those onion rings look like the onion rings at the Clam Box in Wollaston.”

The guy behind the counter nonchalantly said, “they used to own the Clam Box.” I then asked that Nick Kesaris, UBurger co-owner, who was busily making the declicious burgers, come out for a moment. Nick did, and I excitedly told him about my discovery. I explained that when I was working for the Boston Phoenix, more than a five years ago, I wrote an item about the Wollaston Beach establishment, right when he had taken it over from his father, and that the restaurant had put my words on the placemat. I noticed a hint of recognition behind Nick’s eyes. He said, “you were the hot dog and fries, guy, right.” We reminisced about the old place and his father, Clam Box co-owner Spyridon “Peter” Kesaris, who died in 2003.

Gitell.com’s wife, the Fabulous Dana, watched this spectacle in astonishment. She never witnessed an individual with a photographic memory about food.

For those from outside of Boston, or even the South Shore, the Clam Box under the Kesaris Family was one of those special, seaside fastfood operations. It closed for the winter and opened up in March. I started going there at around the age of six or seven with my father. I’d walk up to the counter and order a long hot dog in a buttered role with fries or onion rings — or hopefully both. In the raw months of early Spring, we’d eat, talk and stare off into the gray ocean. The Clam Box never garnered the luster of its North Shore, unrelated, namesake, nor the national reknown of the Billy Goat Tavern, the Greek-owned burger and tavern place that John Belushi and Mike Royko made famous. But it was a family enterprise, a group of brothers building their dream in America.

Now the next generation is building on the foundation the prior one constructed. Still fast food. Still well-made with fresh ingredients. Instead of a roadside restaurant in Quincy, it’s a city place aimed at students and Red Sox fans. Maybe, just maybe, UBurger will grow to become the East Coast version of Fat Burger or In-and-Out Burger. I don’t know. I do know that UBurger already is the kind of place Peter Kesaris would be proud of.

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4 Responses to “UBurger Update”

  1. gitell.com's wife's co-worker ;) Says:

    I have been to the clam box and know where it is hahaha. and I’ve been to in and out burgers in san diego. HAHA. that was so funny. I’m hungry. mmm I want onion rings. now!

  2. Dave Says:

    Dina, Sammy and I went there on Sunday evening, just after test driving a minivan! I don’t think I’ve wolfed down a burger that fast in years. The fries were hearty and light at the same time. We all split a chocolate frappe. They had a healthy crowd, too. Good luck to ’em.

    P.S. Hope your foot is on the mend… try taking it out of your mouth! : )

  3. wendy Says:

    we must hit this next time.

  4. friend-of-fab-dana Says:

    YES!! thanks to the gitell.com family for spreading the UBurger gospel. The shakes are tastiful too

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