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Meridian’s Hungry Onion to close up shop for good soon

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It’s a Meridian institution, serving up burgers, fries and shakes since 1963.

But soon, the Hungry Onion will close for good.

The restaurant, owned since 1963 by Meridian’s Gingrich family, will close on the last day of December, according to an employee.

With the whistle of trains in the distance, the restaurant was closed for a time Friday afternoon. Employees went for a supply run. Several cars came by looking for one last fix. A post on Facebook Thursday well-known Meridian resident Shelly Houston about the possibility of the closure had nearly 200 comments and almost 500 shares. One couple said they had to pick up the deep-fried zucchini one last time.

The Hungry Onion had locations in Boise, Garden City and Nampa before contracting to the last store in Meridian, according to the Meridian Press.

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Like Garden City’s Ranch Club, the Hungry Onion popped up in the 1980 film Bronco Billy, starring Clint Eastwood. Co-owner Brooke Robbins told Meridian Press in 2017 Eastwood enjoyed one of their burgers. Now the burger is now known as the Bronco Billy on the restaurant’s menu.

“I’ve been to other restaurants in the area, kind of like ours, but I think we are one-of-a-kind,” Robbins told Meridian Press. “I think that’s what keeps people coming back.”

Attempts to reach the Gingrich family didn’t succeed Friday afternoon.

Hungry Onion is open 10am-9pm Friday and Saturday, 11am-8pm on Sunday, and 10am-8pm Monday-Thursday.

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Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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