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Legendary Lakeshore Restaurant Selling 12 Cent Burgers

NBC26 Staff

Legendary Lakeshore Restaurant Selling 12 Cent Burgers

CREATED Jul. 18, 2013

Manitowoc, WI -- It was 1948 and Manitowoc was buzzing. Ships were being built, pots and pans pressed and an entrepreneur decided to build a modest restaurant on the city's south side. Who knew that 65 years later, Late's would still be a hot spot

"I've been coming here since I was six-years-old and, as of yet, I have not gotten tired of the food," said owner Karl Birkenstock. 

Karl liked it so much, he bought the place. He's just the third owner since Truman was president. 

"I would essentially say that nothing has changed much. We've added some things to the menu, but the things that made Late's great from the beginning are still here and unchanged."

The most legendary item on the menu is the deep fried cheese curds.

"I had them 30 years ago here when I was at Lincoln, and when we came back from California, this was the first place we stopped," said Birkenstock. 

While most items are original, Karl isn't afraid to experiment just  a little.

John Maino asks, "How does somebody decide what could be good in a malt? Bacon?"

Karl responds, "It came to us in a dream, really." 

Back to tradition now. Nancy Klein has been there for 50 years. She's seen it all, literally.

"The high school kids. I can remember when they joined the M club and they had to streak from the high school down. That's a memory," said Klein.

You can feel the history as soon as you walk through the door of Late's. In fact, you can buy three cheeseburgers, onion rings and fried cheese curds for 77 cents! But only if you pay in silver from 1964 or before.

Birkenstock says, "We converted our prices into pre-1964 U.S. silver coins to illustrate the prices really haven't gone up. It's the value of the currency that really has gone down." 

So dig out the silver, forget the diet and get ready to feast at one of the Lakeshore's guiltiest pleasures.