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Max & Ermas chain marks 40 years in business

Jul. 12, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Columbus, Ohio-based casual dining chain Max & Ermas is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

The restaurant was founded by Todd Barnum and Barry Zacks who named it for the building's original owners, Max and Erma Visocnik. Over the years the restaurant chain has had a number of ups and downs. A few gimmicks such as telephones on guest tables, roller skating waiters and a mermaid mascot named "Tilly" have come and gone. What hasn't changed about the chain is the selection of gourmet hamburgers and signature bathtub-shaped sundae bar.

The Huntington Max & Erma's franchise opened in 2005.

The chain is currently offering "The Max Burger Challenge." Guests aspiring to be the next Adam Richman (of "Man vs. Food" fame) can attempt to eat a massive 4-pound hamburger called "The Landfill" in one sitting. Those who win the challenge will receive the sandwich free of charge as well as a T-shirt and a gift card. The losers will have to pay a full price of $19.99 for the burger.

"We want to get word out that we're celebrating our 40th," said Rob McCleery, general manager of the Huntington location. "What sets us apart is service. We're really committed to having an exceptional level of service. Our hamburgers are second to none. Our cheeseburger and our tortilla burger won the best in a national competition."

All burgers are available in a 6-ounce Erma size and a 10 oz. Max size. Gourmet burgers are the El Diablo (starting at $9.29) topped with hot and spicy mayonnaise plus a bleu cheese celery slaw. There's also the award-winning Tortilla Burger (starting at $9.29) topped with cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, tortilla strips and jalapeño peppers. It is served with a small cup of tortilla soup for dunking.

In addition to the burgers, the restaurant has an assortment of sandwiches, salads and its famous Laredo steak. There's also a variety of party platters available for catering. Customers looking for party platters should call 45 minutes ahead.

Max & Erma's is located at 26 Pullman Square next to Marquee Cinema. It is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Cash and all major credit cards are accepted. For carry-out orders or catering, call 304-781-3545. For a full menu and company information, visit www.maxandermas.com/.

If you go: Max & Erma's

TYPE OF FOOD: American Casual family dining and bar

ADDRESS: 26 Pullman Square, downtown Huntington

PHONE NUMBER: 304-781-3545

PAYMENTS ACCEPTED: Cash and all major credit cards

HOURS: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday

WEBSITE: www.maxandermas.com/

ON THE WEB: For more than 150 restaurant profiles and growing, visit the entertainment page at www.herald-dispatch.com.

(u'nobuy',)