For many Bellingham residents, it would not be a stretch to say that the time they look forward to most during the year is none of the typical holidays one might expect: it’s not Christmas or Thanksgiving or even their own birthday. Instead, it’s “Boomuary,” a term coined by Bellingham’s own Boomer’s Drive-In to celebrate the restaurant’s 22nd anniversary.
From Jan. 10 through Feb. 28, every burger at the iconic Samish Way drive-in will be $2.89. Although Boomer’s offers 14 unique burgers, owner Chris Irwin said the top five most popular burgers during the sale are the Big Boom, the bacon Swiss, the Boomer, the mushroom Swiss and the fish burger.
The Big Boom
The Big Boom continually proves to be the most popular burger during the sale because it is the best value, Irwin said. It normally sells for $4.59. The burger includes two beef patties and two slices of cheese as well as lettuce, tomato, pickles and Boomer’s special sauce. Sarah Kane, a Western student and Boomer’s employee since 2009, said that the Big Boom is Boomer’s answer to the signature burgers of restaurants like Red Robin or Bob’s Burgers and Brew.
“The Big Boom is a classic,” Kane said. “Every burger place, whether it’s Bob’s or Red Robin or La Fiamma has their signature burger and the Big Boom is ours. It’s just what people like!”
The Bacon Swiss
The Boomer’s bacon Swiss burger needs no explanation: all the details are in its name. It includes ample slices of bacon and a thick piece of Swiss cheese in addition to the tomato, lettuce, pickles and sauce that come on every Boomer burger. Western junior and Boomer’s customer Brian Beaudry, is especially fond of the bacon Swiss burger. He said he not only appreciates Boomer’s food, but the atmosphere as well.
“It’s a good place to eat and hang out,” Beaudry said. Beaudry came to lunch at Boomer’s with his friend Myoung Cheolhan, who is also a Western junior. “We hadn’t seen each other in a while, so we wanted to come and get lunch. I don’t think we would have come if the burger wasn’t $2 cheaper though.”
The bacon Swiss burger normally sells for $4.39.
The third top-selling burger during the sale holds a special place in Irwin’s heart. The Boomer is pretty straightforward, including all the regular toppings of the other burgers, in addition to an extra slice of American cheese. For Irwin however, the simplicity of this burger cannot be beat.
“I always get a Boomer with extra cheese,” he said. “I’ve been eating way too many of them for way too long!”
The Boomer normally sells for $3.39.
The mushroom Swiss and the fish burger
Rounding out the top five Boomuary burgers are the mushroom Swiss and the fish burgers. The mushroom Swiss normally sells for $4.39, while the fish burger normally sells for $4.79, making it the most expensive burger on the menu. Although this pricey burger is part of the sale, Kane said that the avocado bacon burger and the Cajun Inferno burger are not eligible for the sale price.
“We have people that come in and get so angry when they cant get either of those burgers for $2.89, but their ingredients are way too expensive to sell them so cheaply.” Kane also said that the deep-fried mushrooms and fries aren’t available during the sale, but not because of cost issues.
“There’s only so much our deep fryers can take,” Kane said. “If we offered the mushrooms and the fries, there would be no way to keep up with all the orders.”
Handling the crowds
Kane offered some advice to those looking to capitalize on the Boomuary sale. The key, she said, is to have patience.
“There are times when we start going down in flames,” Kane said. “There are people circling the parking lot looking for spots, there’s a line out the door, and there is a stack of orders the cooks haven’t even gotten to yet by the grill. It makes the process go so much smoother if people are patient and nice to us!”
Kane said she highly recommended calling in orders before coming into the restaurant. She said that although people will still have to wait in line to pick their food, by the time they reach the cashier to pay, their order will be done or nearly done. She said this method saves the customer and Boomer’s employee’s precious time.
“You would think that there was some kind of burger apocalypse by the way people flock into Boomer’s during the sale,” Kane said. “It’s stressful and busy, but then again, it can definitely be fun too.”