The first rule of business – if someone has a great product, copy it. That’s what most businesses did back in early 20th century. Similar products, similar brand name. To protect those who come up with the idea, we introduced copyrights and trademarks. Now, I do not know if that’s good for society and mankind as a whole, but it is definitely important for those who came up with the idea. In the middle of Illinois in the tiny town Mattoon, there is this tiny restaurant that sells burgers and milkshakes and stuff. The owners named it Burger King, and decided to trademark it back in the 50s. Unbeknownst to them, a future mega nation-wide Burger King was started at around the same time in Florida, and also made a trademark there. This didn’t really matter because both of them are in different state running a pretty different business model. That was until Burger King, the chain, decided to expand in Illinois. The Mattoon restaurant filed a lawsuit against the chain, which filed a counter suit, and the court case was decided by the Federal court with the verdict as follow. In the 20miles radius around Mattoon, only the restaurant can operate in it; outside of the circumference, it is the land of the fast food chain. This ruling still stand, creating a imaginary bubble around Mattoon that has no Burger King chain. It is kind of hilarious to see the usual fast food suspect like McDonald’s, Arby’s, Wendy’s Hardee’s, DQ, and even A&W-Long John Silvers (which majority of my friends here in the United States have neither seen one or been to one), but not the biggest arch-rival, Burger King. Well, Burger King does exist here, just very different.
I am not going to eat dinner here – this is merely a stop for me before heading into Champaign. I ate here 4 years ago, and I’m sure the food is fine. It has been renovated since the last time I was here. With the rise of internet, odd ball places like this probably get more attention. There are significantly more tourists here than the last time I was here, which is a good thing for the business. There are 2 counters, one for normal food orders, the other for frozen desert. I got the cookie dough glacier, which is a thick ice cream. It is pretty good! (Side story, the parents of the girl who served me was teasing her daughter, and they told me her name so I ask her stupid questions. I did not want to embarrass her, but thought her parents are kind of cute).
Visited: July 2nd, 2017 at 5pm.
Address: 1508 Charleston Ave, Mattoon, Illinois