Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
Philip Buxton (left) and Rachel Buxton (right) say they learned the importance of a business being an integral part of the community from their mother and father and plan on continuing that philosophy with Hwy 55.
OKEECHOBEE — Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries, a national retro-themed diner chain, will open its newest location in Florida on March 25. The new restaurant is located at 307 N. Parrott Avenue in Okeechobee.
Hwy 55 is a diner with a full menu of American classics served in a fun, 1950s-style dining atmosphere. It features fresh, never frozen, hand-pattied hamburgers, cheesesteak sandwiches, salads and a wide variety of milkshakes and frozen custards. Each location features a unique open kitchen in which customers can watch their meals being prepared.
The restaurant will be owned by Rachel Buxton and her brother, Philip Buxton. The siblings were born and raised in the area as their family owns the Buxton & Bass Okeechobee Funeral Home and Crematory. Philip will continue to work at the funeral home and assist at the restaurant while Rachel will oversee the day-to-day operations of Hwy 55.
“It’s been an incredible journey, from concept to completion, opening Hwy 55 in Okeechobee,” said Rachel. “Hwy 55 is a perfect cultural fit for this community. When customers walk in, they will feel like they are in a 1950s diner.”
“Philip and I were both raised here and feel extremely fortunate to be able to bring this exciting new opportunity to our town,” continued Rachel. “We watched our father build Buxton Funeral Home from the ground up and turn it into not only a thriving business but an amazing ministry to so many. We hope to do the same with Hwy 55 and use it as a way to give back. It was important to us to use as many local contractors and subcontractors as possible because it is our neighbors and community who are going to help make us a success.”
Each of the Buxton siblings have their own recommendations on what folks should try when they come out to the new restaurant.
“Philip really likes the All-American Chicken Cheesesteak, and he is a very picky eater,” explained Rachel. “I enjoy the salads that are freshly made to order. And, of course, you can’t go wrong with the frozen custard.”
Hwy 55 opened its first restaurant in Goldsboro, N.C. in 1991. The newest Okeechobee restaurant will mark its third location in the state of Florida, with others in Palm City and Port St. Lucie.