No Burgers Today

Posted: 5th January 2011 by ToadHollowPhoto in Photography
Tags: , , , , ,

Today’s post is absolutely bittersweet for me. We took this series of photos over the Christmas holidays while we were away, and I’ve been waiting for a day when I had a chance to write a proper background for it to post.

This is Shakie’s Burger Shack.  This little shack honestly made the best burgers, fries and onion rings in this universe.  Sure, it might have been a bit of a trek to get there, but I can tell you it was worth it.

Shakie's Burger Shack - West Coast, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Shakie’s Burger Shack – West Coast, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

This shack is located in a small town called Jordan River on the west coast of Vancouver Island.  This town only has a handful of homes in it and undoubtedly the business this shack garnered was not from local residents.  Jordan River is famous for having fantastic surfing, and on any day of the year you are likely to encounter at least one surfer on the beach.

Shakie's Burger Shack - West Coast, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Shakie’s Burger Shack – West Coast, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

For years and years and years, this little shack provided really fantastic food for the surfers and for anyone passing through who might be a little hungry.  In the summer, there was usually a lineup to get to the counter to place your order, and it wasn’t unusual to wait 15 minutes or so before you got your food.

The winter was an entirely different story, however.  It was pretty quiet, although as mentioned there is almost always some surfers around…

Shakie's Burger Shack - West Coast, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Shakie’s Burger Shack – West Coast, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

My wife and I used to sometimes make a day trip out of cruising the coastline to Shakie’s for a burger, and we were utterly devastated to come across this scene this year.  We understand that business is based upon the concept of profits and often you’d see why it was a difficult goal to attain when no one was actually at the restaurant.  This doesn’t eliminate the fact that this place was an icon on the west coast, and it will be sorely missed.

Almost everyone who lives on the island is familiar with this place, and when the subject comes up of its demise, people are truly shocked and disappointed.  We know of no future plans for this site, we can hope that someone will come along and reopen the shack, but given the volume of visitors out here that’s highly doubtful.  I have a nagging suspicion that nature will become the new owner of this establishment and eventually it will be consumed by the earth.

Shakie's Burger Shack - West Coast, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Shakie’s Burger Shack – West Coast, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

We are hoping that the restaurant will still be there in late spring/early summer, as the surroundings will be excellent for a follow-up shoot that will produce dramatic results.

Shakie's Burger Shack - West Coast, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Shakie’s Burger Shack – West Coast, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

At any rate, we are very excited to share this series of images with you.  We hope you enjoyed them and thanks for taking the time to visit and view.  The entire gallery of 7 images can be found online here.




  1. avatar Jim Denham says:

    Awesome post, sad though. Gotta have demand, though. Great looking place, too! Well done Toad!

    • Thanks Jim! As I get older, I find that I like things to stay the same… do I sound like my Dad? I swore I never would say stuff like that, but here we are!!…. LOL Really appreciate the support and comments Jim, thanks kindly.

  2. Aw, that’s really sad. At the very least, though, you can travel there every once in a while to document it’s deterioration. Rurbex, baby!

    • Hey now, there’s a GREAT idea Rob! *madly takes notes* 🙂 I think we’ll do just that. We love this area, so this is a great excuse for an outing. Thanks so much for viewing and commenting, my friend, that really means a lot!

  3. avatar Erik Bleakman says:

    Toad ,what great feelings these photos bring back they made a unbelievable oyster burger,they harvested them locally ever morning

    • Thanks for taking the time to check out these pictures and to provide some comment! I really appreciate hearing from a fellow Vancouver Islandite! I have to admit, I never had one of their oyster burgers as I always considered their hamburgers to be the very best hamburger available in the entire universe. LOL I now wish I had tried one! If I had known this was going to happen, I sure would have.. regardless, thanks for popping by, I really enjoyed hearing from you!

  4. avatar Tom says:

    A sad scene, but great photos and text!

  5. avatar Maurice W. Sanders says:

    Excellent photos.. sorry to see the business close.. but one must make a profit to stay in business..

    • To be honest, I really don’t know how they stayed in business that long really… it’s really really far away from any form of major civilization. It’s a doubled edged sword; first we really miss those burgers!!, BUT!! it makes for fantastic photo opportunities. Many thanks for viewing and commenting today, Maurice, I really appreciate that.

  6. Nice set of shots Toad. I especially like the close up of the menu

  7. avatar Heath O'Fee says:

    Great series, man! Sad to see that it’s closed down, but it made for some great photos. If I can ever get myself out to the west coast, we’ll have to meet up so you can show me all the great spots!

    • Heath, you absolutely made my entire day with your comments! I am an avid follower of your work, as you know by now, and your support and kindness really means a lot to me! I would be both honored and delighted to have an opportunity to go on a photographic adventure with you! If ever you think you can make it, please please let me know, we’ll have a great time together, and my wife and I will put on a good time for you.. guaranteed. Thanks SO much for the kind words and support today, coming from you that means a lot to me.

  8. avatar Rob Chabot says:

    yup…must be gettin older too…like things to stay the same as well…so I’m immortalizing Shakies in an acrylic painting…in a happier day when it was open.!!..but on the plus side Breakers is re-opened after a few years of being closed and the foods good…Rob

    • Most excellent, Rob, wow it sure is great to meet someone here who is well aware of the greatness that was once Shakie’s!! It truly was our favorite burger place. As a matter of fact I was just talkin’ to Mrs. Toad about making a run out to the Port Renfrew area this weekend to do up another shoot…. 🙂 Thank you so very, very much for popping by and leaving us these great comments, it just means so very much to us!!