Mattoon's Burger King sold to local partnership

MATTOON - The owners of an eastern Illinois restaurant that shares the same name as a national chain have sold their business after running it for more than 50 years.

Gene and Betty Hoots sold the restaurant, known as the original Burger King in Mattoon, to a local partnership.  Gene Hoots purchased what was known as the Frigid Queen in 1952, and renamed it Burger King in 1954.  

Hoots also trademarked the restaurant's name in the same year, prior to the national Burger King chain opening a restaurant in Illinois.  Hoots' Burger King was also involved in a court battle with the national Burger King chain several years ago.  Hoots' restaurant survived the court battle, with one of the court's rulings being that the national chain cannot open a restaurant within 20 miles of the Mattoon Burger King.

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