It’s clear that even during a random visit on a grey Wednesday morning, the £1 burger is still a local celebrity
It was a rainy day in Blackpool on Wednesday (August 18) however this didn’t stop the bustling streets of the seaside resort which were busy with visitors from early in the morning.
Blackpool is a town that has adapted to all weathers and its businesses go above and beyond to entertain and welcome people in all conditions every day of the week.
No one “goes large” however quite as much as Higgit’s Las Vegas Arcade and £1 burger bar.
Arriving at the promenade around 11am, I walked further into the town and managed to spot the “£1 burger” sign on the side of Arkwright’s Convenience store on the corner with Chapel Street.
The arcade and burger bar are a bold presence on Dale Street and it practically shouts at you to come in from the end of the road.
The first thing you notice is the giant slush cup mounted on the front which I later found out owner Chris Higitt made himself from fibreglass and a bit of drainpipe.
The premises is unapologetically red and blue throughout, inspired by Chris’ visits to America, and includes Haworth’s Famous Bingo next door.
Both of these have been seen on TV with the retro arcade featuring on Channel 5, UK Gold, and many more. Not to mention being the subject of many YouTuber’s videos.
As I approach, coincidentally, there is Alex from a Liverpool and Wigan based radio station called Radio K Group here to do exactly the same as me – try the £1 burger.
The man himself is inside the booth and is serving an elderly gentleman who tells him he’s seen his burger bar on YouTube and that Chris should start doing merchandise.
It’s clear that even during a random visit on a grey Wednesday morning, the £1 burger is still a local celebrity.
Once he has served his customer, Chris is more than happy to serve us a burger and tell us why it’s become so famous.
“Blackpool is based on cheap-family values,” Chris said. “People come in here and have good value for money. You don’t need to rip people off and charge them a fiver for a burger, charge them a pound.
“It doesn’t cost that much money, people don’t realise that 98% of Blackpool’s economy is either directly or indirectly tourism based and it’s my job, as one of the service providers, to encourage people to come to Blackpool.
“It’s from working partnerships with the media, who are in front of me at the moment, and the YouTubers and other business providers, to get that message out there.
“Blackpool is a word class destination and we want you to come here and try a £1 burger. Try the £1 donuts around the corner and just have good old fashioned family values and a good time in Blackpool.”
As my burger cooked, I took a quick look around the retro arcade which is definitely like a mini Vegas.
If you’ve visited America and loved it you’d get quite nostalgic seeing the American number plates, road signs, Universal Studios clapperboard and much more.
This is also the first time I’ve seen so much Spam outside a supermarket. This is because Chris loved the simplicity of it when introduced to it by a family member in the states.
A spam barm is another £1 gem on offer.
Next door is Haworth’s Famous Prize Bingo which is ran by James Masson who was ringmaster for Blackpool Tower Circus for years.
It is Blackpool’s only ‘one win’ bingo meaning every win gives you a prize from the stall – which a booty of hundreds of various items.
Chris isn’t involved in this business but owns the building which the bingo is in.
After a quick visit next door, my burger with onions was done and I have to say for £1, it was very tasty and is the kind of food that’s needed to power around Blackpool.
It was quite big too, especially for a quid’s worth.
“It’s just normal burgers but I make sure that the plate is marinated so all those spices have to go straight into the burgers.
“That’s the secret of the famous £1 burger!”
Alex from Radio K group also enjoyed his £1 burger along with another Higgit’s staple which is the £1 pint of Slush.
There’s a box on the front of the counter labelled “Leroy’s Letter Box” where people leave letters for YouTuber Leroy to read which they can make a video out of.
It’s also used for other Blackpool businesses to leave things in there relating to competitions and collaborations.
Chris added: “We try to make everything fun and entertaining. When I made the giant slush cup we told people about that, I have plans to make a giant burger to put on the front, we’ll tell people about that.
“We ran out of burgers last week, we told people about that. Because it’s real life and it’s weird and wonderful and these things happen.”
“We all work together in Blackpool and when people come and visit it’s like they leave their usual life and enter a soap opera.
“They get to know us and there’s always things going and things up keep up to date with.”
For this reason, there are plans in the works for an actual soap opera based on Blackpool businesses including, of course, the £1 burger and quite frankly, after Wednesday’s visit, I can’t wait to see it.
To find out more about Higgit’s Las Vegas Arcade and £1 burger bar, please visit the Facebook page here.