By Patrick Alexander

Oregon Coast TODAY

Sometimes it’s cool to think that the world is growing more and more connected with every passing day, allowing cultures and cuisines to collide and produce new ideas, artistic advances and fusion foods.

And sometimes, you want to sit in an old-school diner listening to Buddy Holly while you tackle a burger, fries and a milkshake.

With its black and white tile floor, chrome stools, retro jukebox and vinyl records on the wall, Lincoln City’s 60’s Café is the perfect place to soak up some Americana while enjoying any one of the mouth-watering burgers that grace the menu.

As well as classics like the best-selling bacon-cheeseburger, options include signature creations such as the Surfer (onions, mushrooms, avocado and Swiss cheese), the Hawaiian (Teriyaki, pineapple and Swiss) and the Whoops (with ham, cheese and a fried egg). All are prepared with 1/3 pound of lean ground beef and come served with fries, coleslaw or thin-sliced housemade chips.

“Burgers are just like apple pie,” said owner Robert Long. “That’s what draws people in here — the burgers and shakes and kind of having a retro theme.”

For diners with a serious hunger, Long offers the “You Betcha” Burger, which has two 1/3-pound patties and double everything else: cheese, tomato, onion, pickles, lettuce and house sauce, plus double the fries or chips.

And then there’s the ultimate challenge, Bob’s Belly Buster Burger — a pound and a third of ground beef along with two cheeses, bacon, ham, egg mushrooms and onions.

Anyone who can eat the whole thing in 15 minutes earns themselves a T-shirt and their photo on the wall.

“We’ve only had maybe three people eat the whole thing,” Long said, adding: “People will bring their families in and there’s a lot of them — they kind of dice it up and share it.”

Beyond the beef, the café offers several options for lighter fare, including salads, cod or halibut fish and chips and a salmon burger served with lettuce and tartar sauce.

And the new Famous Indy offers diners a taste of the Midwest in the form of a pork loin fritter sandwich modeled on the popular snack served up at the Indy 500.

“My wife, Pattie, put her own spin on it,” Long said. “It’s normally served with lettuce, tomato and mayo; we serve it with tomato, chipotle sauce and slaw.”

For drinks, guests can choose from a range of sodas or the café’s other signature item —old-fashioned milkshakes served in a tall glass with the extra still in the tin cup. An extensive menu boasts flavors including cherry, chocolate, butterscotch, caramel, strawberry and even Oreo cookie, but Long said customers are also welcome to request one of the off-menu options beloved by regulars, including almond roca, cheesecake and coffee.

And variety is not limited to the drinks menu. The walls of the 60’s Café are a shrine to America’s bygone age, with soap box derby cars and neon signs jockeying for position with framed posters of Marilyn Monroe and James Dean.

“It’s called the 60’s Café but I haven’t really stuck to the ’60s,” Long said, “I have a little bit of everything. If it looks cool and it fits in I don’t care where it came from.”

One part of the décor that guests can’t help but notice is the fleet of model aircraft that hangs from the ceiling. The collection, which features planes from throughout the 20th Century, all the way back to he Red Baron’s Fokker tri-plane, were crafted by former art teacher, aviator and café regular Mel Blanchard,

“He built that red one up over there, so that was my plane,” Long said. “Then my wife got a little jealous, but she wanted hers to be faster, so he built that blue one over there.”

After that, things really took off, with Blanchard turning the ceiling of the café into an air traffic controller’s nightmare but a collector’s dream.

Long’s eventual plan is to learn how to fly some of the ‘planes, but he said he will be learning the ropes on some cheaper ones first to avoid any expensive crash landings.

“Mel made almost all of these from scratch,” he said. “If you wreck them, you either have to know how to build them or you are out of luck.”

But right now, Long is a ways away from being cleared for takeoff.

“I’ve got no time to time to practice just now,” he said. “It will be a few years down the road.”

The 60’s Café is located at 4157 NW Hwy. 101, at the west end of Lighthouse Square. They’re open from 11 am to 9 pm Sunday through Thursday, 11 am to 10 pm Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, call 541-996-6898.

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