Celebrations as one of Northampton's oldest takeaways marks 40th birthday
A Wellingborough Road institution is celebrating a special milestone this weekend after 40 years of flipping hamburgers in Northampton.
American hamburger joint Midwest has been standing proud in Wellingborough Road for 40 years under the ownership of Nick Woodrow.
It was around long before McDonald's and gave its only direct competitor, Wimpy, a run for its money in 1979.
But after taking a step back from the kitchen in 2005 Nick has now handed the reins over to manager Carol Muddiman who oversees the day-to-day operations.
Through their time at Midwest the pair have built up loyal customer base.
"I think the thing that has made us so unusual is that Midwest has been operating for 40 years under the same ownership,” Nick said.
To celebrate the 40th milestone, the takeaway is hosting two open evenings on Friday and Saturday.
Regulars will be given a glass of bubbly and a 40 per cent off discount, by invitation.
Anniversary t-shirts are also on sale for £15.
"The reason we wanted to do this was to say thank you to some of the customers for being loyal for all that time," Nick added.
"We did the same thing 20 years ago and we were heaving.
"I did not think that it would have this degree of longevity."
Nick originally opened Midwest with his former business partner, Roger Woolmore, who owned a pizza bar called Pinocchios. Later they went on to open Merlin's in Wellingborough Road - which ran for four years.
Nick and Roger saw potential in the American hamburger concept and thought the takeaway would be ahead of its time.
Food was then, and still is, cooked on a gas fired charbroiler grill - brought in from Texas - which gives the food a BBQ-flavoured taste.
"Everything is cooked to order," Carol said. "We have nothing pre-cooked. I think what makes us unusual is that we stick to the same principles.
"We don't deliver. When customers walk out of here their food is in pristine condition and they eat it straight away."