ALPENA, Mich. — In 1933, Tony Harrison came to Northeast Michigan to work on the U.S. 23 Construction Project. During that time Tony began cooking burgers which to this day in Alpena are called Tony Burgers.
“He produced a good product,” said Rudy Bauer. “He brought so many memories to so many people in Alpena.”
In the 1930s, the cost of a Tony Burger was a dime and a nickel. Nowadays, a Tony Burger at the Brown Trout Festival costs five dollars. Bauer believes that the onions is what makes the Tony Burgers so good.
“He would chop up the onions and put them in the burner,” said Bauer. “I think he would use salt and pepper on them.”
Harrison always made sure that his burgers were perfect before they would be served out to his customers.
“When the burgers came on a tray from the butcher, he would feel them,” said Bauer. “If they didn’t have the right amount of tallow in it, he would send it right back.”