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Louisville is the birthplace of the cheeseburger

According to the Kaelin family, they’re the original cheeseburger makers.

LOUtoday_80/20 Kaelin

Today, 80/20 at Kaelin’s has 9 kinds of burgers on its menu.

Photo by 80/20 at Kaelin’s

Welcome to Louisville, home of the cheeseburger. Can we take your order?

It’s hard to pin down the exact moment the first piece of cheese was melted on a hamburger patty — after all, it’s only an American icon.

While other places — like Denver, CO and Pasadena, CA — claim to have invented the quintessential meal, we’re sticking to our cheesy anecdote.

According to local foodie lore, the cheeseburger was invented in 1934 at Kaelin’s restaurant on Newburg Road. The savory combination was created after the owner, Carl Kaelin, asked his wife Margaret to throw a piece of cheese on a hamburger she was frying — and the rest was history.

Kaelin put the cheeseburger on the menu for 15 cents, but because it was so simple, he never thought to patent the idea.

The Kaelin family sold their restaurant in 2004. The location had a tumultuous 14 years following the sale, but in 2018 the home of the cheeseburger reopened as 80/20 at Kaelin’s.

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