Squeeze Burger has it, Squeeze Burger will make it.By: Paige Smith
Growing up in the Sacramento area, enjoying the classic cheese skirt burger at the original Squeeze Inn location and working together at Skate Town, it is easy to see why Keith Lenhart and Charles Rogers co-own the Squeeze Burger in Roseville.
“We have known each other for over 20 years,” Lenhart said. “We are the only owners now that have trained in their original building; there are multiple locations, but we trained in the shack before it closed.”
Welcome to the Squeeze Burger — wait, what? A recent, yet overall unnoticed name change has taken over what used to be known for years as Squeeze Inn.
“The Squeeze Inn in Truckee has been around forever, they are famous for their omelets and breakfast foods and have had the name trademarked since 2009,” Lenhart said. “They got bought out by a big investor who wanted to create a franchise and take it national; they own the rights, so they enforced their trademark.”
While the change may leave some people taking a second look, Lenhart and Rogers are relieved and happy that they were able to keep the word “Squeeze” since regulars refer and say things along the lines of “I’m going to Squeeze” or “I’m going to Squeeze Burger.” The co-owners have not had a lot of questions, just guests occasionally noticing that the sign is different.
Lenhart said that he used to receive calls thinking that they were a hotel because of the “Inn” in their name.
Growing up locally, community has always been a forefront for the two gentlemen who work to make sure that their food is the highest quality, customers enjoy themselves and help get community involved in various events. Lenhart and Rogers only purchase through Farm to Fork and reach out to help the community and friends whenever possible.
“Our meat, our bread, our produce — it’s delivered fresh every day,” Rogers said. “We cut and prep everything every morning; we get quality food and only cook it that day.”
It is a family affair as Rogers’ sister, Jenn Bradley, comes in each morning to help prepare food and clean for the day and the customers. When possible, they hire teenagers for their first paid job to gain experience. They both are open-minded and willing to create new things. Their philosophy: if we have it, we will make it. Even when customers have allergies or different dietary needs, they work with them to create similar experiences as other customers. They have customers who come in who are on the keto diet and they work with them too.
“Bring the ingredients and we will put it together however you would like,” Rogers said. “We had a woman who was gluten intolerant, she brought her own bread and we were able to accommodate.”
In time of need
Whether there are happy times or sad, the co-owners of Squeeze Burger have been there to support friends and families throughout the community. In 2013, Matt Camp suddenly passed away after an accident and Lenhart, Rogers and their staff opened on a Sunday to hold a fundraiser for Camp’s wife and daughter.
“Every staff person volunteered and worked for free and our vendors supplied a majority of the food for free,” Lenhart recalled. “We donated 100 percent of the proceeds for his daughter, in the first three hours we raised $7,000.”
Community is a driving term for the two co-owners. They purchased a food truck, so they can take their food throughout the community to parties and catering events. Proceeds go back into the community and they stay local.
What is Lenhart and Rogers favorite food item on the menu?
“Teriyaki Steak Sandwich with mushrooms and grilled onions,” they both said, and Lenhart added, “That one is probably the most popular amongst the staff too.”