Rolling down the Ribbon in the RoadRunner, ready to requisition a root beer and repast, I ruminated upon my responsibility to include a post on those perennial purveyors of the modern sarsaparilla on Peoria, Weber's Superior Root Beer. So after a couple of cold frosty mugs, I returned to my current abode and began to research a bit. Well, where better to start than with the 'Weber' family themselves?
The following is from their own site , and gives a pretty good history.
The Weber's Story... Weber's is a family-owned and operated restaurant that was started in June of 1933. Located in the heart of Brookside at 3817 S. Peoria, the oldest and longest-running business of any kind located in Brookside,
Weber's Superior Root Beer was the creation of Oscar "Weber" Bilby back in the late 1800's. Oscar and his wife Fanny moved to Oklahoma from Missouri to a 640 acre farm just north of Sapulpa to an area now know as Bowden, Oklahoma in 1884. Oscar was a farmer, but he enjoyed experimenting with different soft drink condiments. Through trial and error, he put together a secret recipe consisting of 14 natural ingredients which were "fire brewed" then stored and aged in birch bark barrels. His famous Weber's Superior Root beer was then served at the peak of the flavoring cycle. Oscar used yeast to carbonate his root beer.
On the fourth of July, 1891, Oscar probably made his most significant contribution to society when he forged a piece of iron into a 3' x 4' grill. He then built a pit and heated the grill with hickory wood. His wife, Fanny, made sour dough buns while Oscar pattied up some black angus all-beef-patties and proceeded to grill the patties on his new hand-made grill. When they were cooked to perfection, he placed the patties between the buns...thus, the first real hamburger was made. He then served them (along with Weber's Superior Root beer, of course) to more than 100 people who were the Bilbys' friends and family. Oscar continued this 4th of July tradition every year for the rest of his life.
His hamburgers and root beer were the hit of the community. Decades of encouragement later, Oscar opened the first Weber's Superior Root beer Stand at 3817 S. Peoria. Oscar felt that the original stand should remain in the Bilby family forever. At the present time Oscar's great grandson Rick Bilby and his wife Jennifer own and operate the original Weber's Superior Root Beer Stand.
In 1995 award-winning travel writer and reporter Michael Wallis (Route 66: the Mother Road) did an extensive nationwide search for the true origins of the hamburger as we know it. Later that year the Governor Frank Keating issued a statement of proclamation confirming Wallis's findings. It is with great pride that we cook our burgers on the original grill, made the same as they were in 1891, every day.
Here at Weber's, our famous root beer is still made with those same 14 secret, all natural ingredients! We serve great tasting root beer in ice-cold frosted mugs.
While visiting the original Weber's, please try an order of our famous homemade onion rings or our tasty fresh French fries. Our delicious hamburgers are still made from 100% fresh ground angus beef. The original Weber's is also home of Tulsa's best sausage cheeseburgers. If you like chili, we invite you to try our wonderful chili cheeseburger, or a tasty double cheeseburger. Weber's also still makes delicious root beer floats served in ice-cold frosted mugs. Try one!
Mr Bilby also told me once that his grandfather admonished him to always refer to their product as 'Weber's SUPERIOR Root Beer'; he was adamant about that. And Grandpa was right - Weber's is undoubtedly the best root beer on tap in 32 of the lower 48, Australia, New Zealand and Christmas Island. I'm sure it's still the best in the remaining states too, I just haven't visited them yet...
Even though it's now located at the 'wrong end' of the parking lot , Weber's still serves those great frosty mugs, floats, burgers and fries. I've been going there since shortly after I was born ; my parents loved their floats and we would go there with great regularity when I was a child and they would share. As soon as I could hold my own frosty 'baby bear' mug up myself, I had 'em leave out the ice cream and never looked back.
Interestingly, with Weber's being the longest continuing running business in Brookside and being such a large part of the area's 'culture' , photos of the original building are hard to find online. If you, dear reader, have any photos or memories of Weber's, please share them here. And go have a frosty one next time you're in the area - tell 'em YrHmblHst sent ya. They'll probably look at you strange, but I imagine they'll serve you anyway!