R.I.P. Jim’s Hamburgers


The paper over the windows at this classic restaurant on the ground floor of the Seaway Hotel, 2005 W. Superior St. in Duluth’s friendly West End, reveals it is out of business. (Jim’s Hamburgers was included in the “Breakfast in Duluth” post just 10 months ago.)

This was the last of four Jim’s Hamburger locations in Duluth. Jim Overlie was the founder, opening the first one in 1937. I think the West End location opened in the 1940s. Overlie sold in 1985 to Dick and Mary Christensen. Dick died in 2000 and Mary died in 2006. Their son Denny took over ownership.

Other Jim’s Hamburger locations were at:
502 E. Fourth St. (closed in 2005)
414 W. Superior (closed in 1995)
502 E. First St. (closed in 1982)



about 12 years ago

Is that the last Jim's Hamburgers?  It didn't look even close to being open when I went by there last.  We had two to chose from on the Hillside - Fifth Avenue East and Downtown.  At the one downtown I put my dad's name in a drawing and he won his height in hamburgers.  Good times.


about 12 years ago

Here is some Jim's Hamburgers history from the News Tribune Attic (originally posted back in 2008):

Jim's Hamburgers, 1980


about 12 years ago

Wasn't there a Jim's location in West Duluth (56th and Grand)?  Jim's had great food ... especially burgers and fries and you could get breakfast all day.  Great memories!!!!


about 12 years ago

Man, I haven't eaten at Jim's for years. Makes me yearn for having a burger, then walking over to Carr's Hobbies and peeking through the door at the train set, then walking over to Video Vision to rent a Nintendo console and 3 games for $10, then walking home down 21st and snickering at Yoshika's.

I will say that should it re-open, I will make a concerted effort to eat there more often.


about 12 years ago

While it is sad to see a local business close, I find it a little funny that a community that prides itself on locally owned and operated businesses let this "gem" of a burger joint go under. Practice what you preach, or go eat at Quiznos.

zizzer t

about 12 years ago

Not trendy enough, deserved to die.


about 12 years ago

I loved that place. It was just down the street from my old studio and it's where I used to grab a little protein'n starch when I was working there. I remember a thanksgiving day when I had my T-day dinner there. It has been shut down for nearly a year. Hardly any greasy spoons left in this city! Someone needs to campaign for the genre. Aren't there any webmillionaires who pine for the burgers of their youth, and who are willing to pay to preserve them?

Paul Lundgren

about 9 years ago

Jims Hamburgers interior 2014

Here is a recent interior shot of the former restaurant, through the glass window.  The Housing and Redevelopment Authority of Duluth bought the Seaway Hotel building in the summer of 2014 with the financial assistance of the Duluth Economic Development Authority.  It is now known as the Esmond Building.  The name comes from the stonework above the east entrance of the building, indicating it is likely the name of a former owner. Renovation work is ongoing.

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