Here are a few stories from Hudson’s Hamburgers regulars:
“Avery Bright, 84, of Post Falls, started eating Hudson’s burgers in 1945, when he got out of the military. He still remembers that first burger, which he covered with hot mustard.
“I couldn’t catch my breath,” Bright said. “My nose ran. My eyes ran. I washed the patty off at the sink but it didn’t do a darn bit of good.”
Today, Bright prepares his burger with a couple shakes of pepper, a dash of salt and a little drizzle of hot mustard topped with a dollop of spicy ketchup. Pickle only, no onion.
“Wayne Cofield, of Coeur d’Alene, started frequenting Hudson’s at age 10, when he would come downtown to mow lawns. In high school, he got a car enabling him and his buddies to get a midday fix.
“We’d blast out at lunchtime,” he said. “We’d have to scream, but we could do it.”
He’s known for having a double cheese with extra pickle and all three sauces. Yet it’s his drink choice that’s more unique: water with a milk back. That means Cofield drinks water with his sandwich and milk with his slice of pie.
“Actor Jack Bannon, who’s married to Ellen Travolta, is a relative newcomer to Huddy’s. He began frequenting the counter in 1989 after moving to town.
“This place is old-fashioned,” Bannon said. “There’s so much history and character. It’s real mom-and-pop type stuff that a corporation (like McDonald’s) doesn’t lend itself to.”
He eats naked cheeseburgers (no sauce) with pickle and onion.
“For Coeur d’Alene City Councilman Ron Edinger, also a former mayor, Hudson’s was part of city business. When first elected, Edinger came in weekly to chat with Howard Hudson, who had been on the council for years.
“He talked rough,” Edinger said. “Not nasty or anything like that, but you would get a little afraid because of the way he would talk. But once you got to know him, Howard had a heart of gold.”
Edinger likes hamburgers with pickle, onion – no cheese.
“Greg Delevan, native and Coeur d’Alene Airport manager, started eating at Hudson’s with his grandfather. Now his two children are hooked.
“People fly into the airport just to get a Hudson’s burger,” Delevan said. “It’s commonly known as the $200 hamburger.”