Posted by: Kath Usitalo | March 8, 2011

Road Food Report: Olive You, Kewpee Burger

Kewpee's Oliveburger and crispy sweet potato fries, Lansing

Hamburg ~ Pickle On Top ~ Makes Your Heart Go Flippity Flop!

The Kewpie doll painted on the ladies room wall at Kewpee's

You have to love a joint that not only plasters that little ditty, teamed with a picture of the sweet Kewpie dolly with the hair swept into a point, but has served its most tasty Oliveburger for over 70 years.

Enter the Weston family’s Kewpee Restaurant in beautiful downtown Lansing and you’ll see a sign for “Kewpee Hotel Hamburgs,” the name of the original fast-food chain founded in Flint in 1923.

That’s the year the Westons opened their spot in the state capital, conveniently located for legislators and other bureaucrats who undoubtedly have done a bit of business over a burger in the cushy booths of the brick-walled dining room.

Kewpee is known for introducing the flat-bottomed bun and the hamburger deluxe, the topping of mayo, lettuce and tomato.

With olives added to the to the mix it becomes the popular Oliveburger, which is served in three sizes (Regular at 2.5 ounces, the quarter pounder King, and Kolossal half-pounder).

I opted for the King Deluxe Oliveburger with sweet potato fries. The burger comes simply wrapped in paper, which conveniently doubles as a placemat for catching the drips from the juicy sandwich. The secret to the fourth generation Westons’ famous burgers is the beef, ground fresh daily. Delish.

You can opt for a plain burger, turkey burger, cherry burger or veggie garden burger, too. Other sandwiches and wraps, salads and sides round out the menu. There’s a good looking breakfast selection served 8-11 am. Monday-Friday.

But it’s the Oliveburger that defines Kewpee, and is the reason I’d return.

Weston’s Kewpee Restaurant in downtown Lansing is open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Closed Sundays.

NOTE: Bill Thomas’ Halo Burger in Flint, Michigan was the original Kewpee sandwich shop, and maintains the same recipe under the Halo Burger name.

Visitor Info Clicks: Lansing

Pure Michigan



  1. In Grand Rapids, the Kewpee’s became Mr. Fables and the oliveburger was called Mr. Fabulous. They also had the most incredbly, wonderful, greasy onion rings The meal must have been 10,000 fat grams! The one on Lenord was a high school hang out.

    The last one in GR closed a few years ago. Good to know those burgers are not gone for good!

  2. Love the name Mr. Fabulous. Hmmm….wonder if Kewpees and Halo Burger make those onion rings. Guess I have more research to do…

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