Burger Baron History

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Food, Family, Freshness: The Lasting Legacy of a Beloved Baron


  • 1958

  • Jack McDonnell opens a drive-thru hamburger stand on Calgary’s Macleod Trail. He christens it Burger Baron
  • 1959

  • Jack hires Rikie, who would one day become his wife and business partner
  • 1959

  • Jack opens Regina’s first Burger Baron drive-thru on North Albert Street. Fans pull in as much for the socializing as they do for the delicious made-to-order burgers, fries, rings and milkshakes
  • 1970s

  • Jack and Rikie McDonnell welcome the birth of sons John and James. The boys soon become familiar faces at the drive-thru alongside Mom and Dad
  • 1980

  • Jack and Rikie move to Visalia, California to raise their young family, entrusting Burger Baron to loyal management and staff
  • 1983

  • Jack McDonnell, beloved husband, father and Burger Baron founder, succumbs to cancer at age 71. Rikie, John and James return to Regina
  • 1980s

  • Rikie continues the successful operation of Burger Baron while parenting two sons
  • 1990

  • Rikie tears down the hamburger stand and opens a 100-seat Burger Baron restaurant. It’s a hit!
  • 1999

  • Rikie’s son James becomes her business partner, managing and operating the restaurant
  • 2000s

  • Burger Baron’s cheeky yellow billboards keep the Queen City laughing and attract attention from far beyond
  • 2005

  • Carnivores get their wish: James and Rikie open a second Burger Baron restaurant in East Regina
  • 2013

  • James McDonnell and partners rebrand the restaurants Baron’s Fresh Grill, adding artisan sandwiches and salads alongside the burgers and milkshakes that have stood the taste of time

While the loveable Baron mascot may have hung up his armour, the freshness and quality he and Jack stood for will forever endure