Keller's Drive-In founder Jack Keller dies at 88 from cancer

The founder of Dallas’ Keller’s Drive-In has died at 88 after battling liver cancer.

The founder of Dallas’ Keller’s Drive-In has died at 88 after battling liver cancer.

The burger drive-in just off Northwest Highway near Abrams is one of Dallas' unofficial landmarks. It looks about the same as it did the day it opened on August 13, 1965 and customers say the burgers still taste just as good.

Familiarity is why Jack Keller’s son believes his dad's business is so successful.

“It's nice to go somewhere that resists change like it's the plague,” said Jack Keller Jr.

Keller's Drive-in has made Oprah and GQ’s top ten lists for best burgers. Jimmy Buffet even featured the sign during a concert while singing ‘Cheeseburgers in Paradise.’

Keller Jr. says his dad's business secret was offering a great product at a great price.

“He would do anything before raising his prices,” Keller Jr. explained. “Put a fine tooth comb on the entire operation."

“We've been coming here since the middle 60s,” said longtime customer John Parrish. “Went to Vietnam, came back, hanging out of Keller's ever since."

Shirley Ehney has been working here since she was 23 years old. She's now 75. She says Keller was an easy boss to work for.

“I miss him coming up picking on us,” she said.

Keller Jr. says work was always part of his dad's life.

“He started working when he was 8 or 10,” the son explained. “He was a depression kid."

Now, Keller Jr. hopes he can come close to running the business as well as his dad.

“For me, he was like a different pair of glasses,” he said. “I could see further than I could see without him. He had a lot of wisdom."

Keller is survived by his four children, eight grandchildren and his 87-year-old wife, Wilma.


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