20 Hamburgers at One Sitting

Seafarer – 1950s

This image comes to us care of a past Seal Beach resident, Bob Robertson. The photo was taken by Bob’s father, Bill Robertson, owner of the Seal Beach Post and Wave newspaper.  Bob’s brother, Bill once owned this restaurant under the name, “Bill’s Place.”

click on the image for a larger view

Once there was a restaurant across from the Seal Beach pier known as the Seafarer.  Once there was a young man with a wild, crazy dream named Glen Tuttle.  Glen Tuttle’s dream was to eat 20 hamburgers at one sitting.  And the fine folks at the Seafarer, being wild, crazy dreamers themselves (why else would they own a restaurant?), gave Glen Tuttle a shot at his dream at 3 pm the day this photo was taken.

Did Glen achieve his wild, crazy dream?  The answer to that question has been lost in the dustbins of history.  Perhaps one of our readers will know the answer to that question and post it in the comments section.  Perhaps one of our reader was there on the very day this heroic feat was attempted!  It’s even possible that wild, crazy dreamer himself, Glen Tuttle, will chance upon this blog and tell us the epic tale of his attempt to eat 20 hamburgers at one sitting in front of the Seafarer that historic day.  We can only hope.

Either way, I, with my tongue firmly in my cheek, think there should be a brass plaque at the spot commemorating the event.

ADDENDUM: Years after this post was originally uploaded, I discovered there was newspaper coverage of this event and covered it again in this June 27, 1956 post.

Also read the comments to this post to learn about Glen Tuttle’s tragic fate.

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5 Responses to 20 Hamburgers at One Sitting

  1. Pingback: 20 hamburgers at one sitting for Glen Tuttle? : What’s Up In Seal Beach

  2. Michael Dobkins says:

    Earlier this evening, I received further news on the fate of Glen Tuttle, and unfortunately it was tragic.

    A few months back, a former Seal Beach resident e-mailed me a photo of a fatal accident where the Seal Beach tram crashed through the pier railing into the hard concrete below. I decided not to post the photo on the blog because I felt the image was too morbid for the purpose of this blog, and I didn’t want to risk causing the friends and family members of the deceased driver to experience any fresh pain. I posted a happier photo of the tram a few days back with a little trepidation. I couldn’t help but wonder whether the man in the driver’s seat was also the driver involved in the later accident, but to my relief that was not the case.

    I now know that Glen Tuttle was the driver in the accident photo. I also now know that Glen’s mother worked at the Seafarer, which adds another dimension of sadness to this comment.

    One of the dangers of being irreverent (as I well know from experience) is that you risk the danger of offending someone or being far crueler than you ever intended. I poked fun at Mr. Tuttle and his 2o burger challenge in what I hope was a good natured and kind manner. I hope no one is offended.

    I briefly considered rewriting or replacing this post, but the words above are my words, glib though they may appear given this new context. Another option was not to mention anything about Glen Tuttle’s tragic end, and let the post stay as written.

    Ultimately, I decided to keep the post and share the sad news here in the comments. This is a history blog, and sometimes history is unpleasant and that unpleasantness should not be avoided or hidden. And, frankly this is a wonderful photo that says something sweet about our town.

    Finally, our lives should not be defined by our worst moments. Glen Tuttle and the crowd surrounding him were having a good time and indulging themselves in some goofy small town fun. I prefer remembering him like that, and I hope you do, too.

    Take Care,


  3. Christie Sexton says:

    I remember the contest; one of a few when it was Jack’s Seafarer (long before Bill bought it). We couldn’t wait to head to the Seafarer every afternoon after school! Sorry to say, but Glen Tuttle was killed while backing the tram into it’s spot by the pier and crashed through the barrier. Those I recognize in the picture are Alan Harbor, I believe, Beverly Sutherland, Howard Holman, Sandy Wells (the blond partially hidden), Betty Peters, Monte ? and Sonny Jones (whose father owned the Seal Motel on 5th & Central).

    Some memories seem like just yesterday!


  4. Kim Sloan says:

    Very nicely written. Your sensitivity, and recognition of how all of us would feel, friends, family, neighbors, even strangers with fond memories of Seal Beach, really showed in your words and thoughtful commentary. Thank you… a Seal Beach lover.


  5. Pingback: June 27th in Seal Beach History | This Date in Seal Beach History

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