Classic San Francisco Burger Joint Closing Down After Nearly 50 years

Joe's Cable Car on the corner of Mission Street and Silver Avenue in San Francisco has been serving fresh ground steak beef burgers since 1965.

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    A long-time burger joint in San Francisco that closed up shop over the weekend is giving away souvenirs. The restaurant, which started out as a drive-in diner back in 1965, had a packed house before closing its doors for good Sunday night. (Published Wednesday, March 19, 2014)

    Fans of Joe's Cable Car Restaurant are flocking to the San Francisco establishment to get their fix of its juicy, melt-in-your-mouth burgers before the restaurant closes forever on March 16.

    Joe's, which has been serving fresh ground steak beef burgers since 1965, was called "the best of the best" by Guy Fieri when he featured it on his show "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" in 2008.

    On his website, Joe Obegi writes: "I’ve learned that kids are tough critics. When parents are surprised at their kids open appetites at Joe’s, the kids answer: 'Dad, this is good.' Kids only finish what is good."

    Obegi told Fieri that if he can't eat the burger, he won't serve it.

    "When I want gold, I don't want a fake a look-alike, or something painted a gold color," Obegi says on his site. "When I want a beef burger, I want a real old fashioned fresh ground steak as it originated and I am worth it. Anything less is a fake, a look-alike, or something painted a brown color."

    When NBC Bay Area asked Obegi Sunday why he was closing his restaurant, Obegi said: "Doctors orders - 49 years ... I'm 75 years old ... time's up."

    He added: "I want to thank the San Franciscans and the Bay Area for giving me business for 49 years. They have been very loyal and nice to me and I love them and they love me."

    On Sunday, the restaurant was packed with Joe's fans. Some took to Twitter to say said goodbye to their favorite burger joint: