Penn's Hamburgers may close for good - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Penn's Hamburgers may close for good

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By Bobby Shuttleworth - bio | email
Posted by Dana Franks - email

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - It's been a part of the Decatur landscape for more than 80 years, but CF Penn's Hamburgers could soon be part of history itself.

Dr. Franklin Penn Jr. is known for being a psychologist in Hartselle schools, but he is also a co-owner of Penn's Hamburgers,

"In the first place I don't want to [close]," Penn said. "We're thinking about it because the economy is not good. Business is off for us, just like it is for most other people."

What Penn and his siblings are thinking about is closing an 82 year tradition of burgers, fries and more.

One waitress, Lillian Coggins, has been at the restaurant for 36 years.

"I just think I'm not young enough to get another job," Coggins joked.

"Everyone who grew up in Decatur has a Penn's Hamburger story," said WAFF 48 News reporter Bobby Shuttleworth. "My mother used to be a bookkeeper at Hunter Furniture store on 2nd Avenue in Decatur. There were some days my brother and I would accompany her to work and when we did, she would take a lunch break and we would go to CF Penn's for a burger."

Wally Duffey can relate. 

"I grew up in Decatur and in 1968 my parents moved to Scottsboro, and every time I come to Decatur now I stop by Penn's and get a hamburger," Duffey said.

Monta Brackin said they have the most delicious hamburgers in the world.

"I'm from Moulton," Brackin said. "Never come to Decatur without stopping at Penn's."

It's a tradition mixing a large amount of oil, breading and beef which gives the burgers a flavor all their own.

Penn's has a history which has been at the heart of the River City for awhile. Just ask Coggins.

"Oh Lord, yeah, we've seen a lot," she said. "This is just like a home away from home."

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