Solly’s Grille receives 2022 James Beard America’s Classics Award

A butter burger and fries from Solly's Grille. Photo courtesy of Solly's Grille.
A butter burger and fries from Solly's Grille. Photo courtesy of Solly's Grille.

Last updated on February 18th, 2022 at 01:44 pm

Solly’s Grille in Glendale is among six U.S. restaurants being honored with the James Beard America’s Classic Award.

The America’s Classics Award is given to locally owned restaurants that have a “timeless appeal” and are “beloved regionally for quality food that reflects the character of its community,” according to a press release from the James Beard Foundation.

Solly’s Grille owner Glenn Fieber earned the honor for serving locally loved butter burgers, which were created in 1936 by founder Kenneth “Solly” Salmon. A Solly’s butter burger features ground sirloin with stewed onions, doused in Wisconsin butter.

“People from far and wide make the pilgrimage to this family-owned Milwaukee (area) restaurant, an institution that boasts the use of over 130 pounds of butter a week,” reads the release.

See more about the James Beard America’s Classics Award for Solly’s in a report from WISN-TV Channel 12, a media partner of BizTimes Milwaukee.

This isn’t the first time Solly’s Grille has gained national attention. In a past episode of “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern,” host Andrew Zimmern also stopped by to feature the restaurant. Solly’s has also been featured in National Geographic, on Travel Channel and in Business Insider.

The other 2022 James Beard America’s Classics Award winner include:

  • Casa Vega of Sherman Oaks, California. Owner Rafael “Ray” Vega opened the restaurant in 1956 and helped popularize Mexican food in the San Fernando Valley.
  • Corinne’s Place of Camden, New Jersey. Owner Corinne Bradley-Powers has been serving up soul food since 1989.
  • Wo Hop of New York, New York. Ming Huang has been cooking “old-fashioned, chop-suey style food” from the basement level of a building since 1938.
  • The Busy Bee Café of Atlanta, Georgia. Founder Lucy Jackson opened the restaurant in 1947 as one of the few black-owned businesses in the city. Today, owner Tracy Gates keeps serving traditional soul food.
  • Florence’s Restaurant of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Founder Florence Jones Kemp opened shop in 1952 with “two chickens and a prayer.” Today, at almost 70, she still works alongside her daughter, offering “good country food for the soul.”

This year’s award honorees join the ranks of over 100 restaurants across the country who have also been recognized as America’s Classics since 1998.

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Ashley covers startups, technology and manufacturing for BizTimes. She was previously the managing editor of the News Graphic and Washington County Daily News. In past reporting roles, covering education at The Waukesha Freeman, she received several WNA awards. She is a UWM graduate. In her free time, Ashley enjoys watching independent films, tackling a new recipe in the kitchen and reading a good book.

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