Back in the 1960s the Big Scot was as popular as any burger in the Midwest. It was the creation of Sandy’s, a hamburger and fries restaurant chain founded by three Kewanee business men in 1958—Gust Lundberg, Paul White and Robert Wenger.

After failing to secure an acceptable McDonald’s franchise and surviving a lawsuit filed by Ray Kroc, McDonald’s owner, the Kewanee men opened their first restaurant in 1958 in Peoria, which was managed by Kenneth Andris.

Success followed and in 1965 they opened their 100th store located in their hometown at 425 Tenney Street, the present site of LaGondola Restaurant. Many of the franchises throughout the Midwest were owned by Kewaneeans.

The company rented office space for 10 years until an impressive headquarters was built on Route 78 south of Kewanee. The uniquely-designed building still stands today, housing a Western-wear store.

The distinctive design of the Sandy’s restaurants and their Scottish thrift theme came to an end in 1972 as Sandy’s and most of its 240 franchises from Kansas to Florida merged with Hardee’s.

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