Popular Squeeze Inn burger joint to open in Penn Valley

From the blog of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine:

The Squeeze Inn restaurant, a Sacramento institution known for its juicy burgers with a generous skirt of cheese, plans to open a branch in Penn Valley and expand further into the Sierra Foothills, our magazine has learned. The restaurants are individually owned or franchises, and this marks the continued growth of the Squeeze Inn brand that began in a small building (hence “Squeeze Inn”) in Sacramento in the ’80s.

The Penn Valley location is on Pleasant Valley Rd., next to the Union 76 gas station. This deal could clear the way for further expansion of the popular hamburger restaurant in the Sierra Foothills. The same operator — Sierra Energy — recently opened a Squeeze Inn in Portola in Plumas County.

The Squeeze Inn in Penn Valley expects to open in late July or August.

The burger restaurant has been featured on the popular TV program “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” and the Sacramento Bee has called it a “burger to drive for.”

The restaurant’s signature menu item is the Squeezeburger with cheese, which includes a 1/3 lb. all-beef patty served on a sesame seed bun, with cheese, mayonnaise, mustard dill pickle, tomato, onion and lettuce. The menu also incluedes a veggie burger. Other sandwiches include at B.L.T., grilled cheddar cheese sandwich and hot dog.

“The burger at the Squeeze Inn in Sacramento starts off innocently enough,” according to Serious Eats. “A 1/3-pound ground beef patty (80/20 meat to fat ratio) gets grilled on a flat top, and turned once. After that, if you ask for the cheese skirt (and you do have to ask in order to get it), things start to get crazy. The burger gets blanketed in a mess of shredded mild cheddar cheese, and covered (partially) with the top of the hamburger bun. Then—and this is where the engineering comes in—a few ice cubes are tossed onto the flat top, and the whole thing is covered for 4-5 minutes, steaming and crisping up the cheese into what could be considered a skirt-like shape.”

The restaurant’s name is derived from the small building in which it started in Sacramento in the ’80s, where not more than a dozen diners could fit, according to Sacramento Wiki.

Other Squeeze locations include Midtown Sacramento, Roseville, Tracy, Galt and Napa.

“Born out of our love of fine burgers and good music, The Squeeze Inn has become the exclusive bite spot in Northern California,” according to its website. “After being introduced to a new way of the ‘Burger’ Travis H fortunately would be in the right place at the right time, when he was introduced to ‘The Squeeze Inn.’ He decided to make the move into flavorville as the proud new owner of ‘The Squeeze Inn.’ On that day the next generation of the squeeze was born.

“There are 9 locations and At The Squeeze Inn, every hour is Happy Hour. With burgers that is! Come and relax. Listen to great music, enjoy some hot fries with your friends or colleagues and experience the love of the famous cheese skirt for yourself!”

The Squeeze Inn was featured in “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”:

(Photo: Facebook)

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

10 thoughts on “Popular Squeeze Inn burger joint to open in Penn Valley”

  1. It’s open! Here’s the post on Facebook: “Katie Dudley — The enthusiasm for the Squeeze Burger, Penn Valley was FANTASTIC today! We will drive to meet that enthusiasm. We appreciate the community support. Come see us tomorrow and the days to follow. As is expected with a venture like this…there will be MANY opportunities to learn and challenges to face. We look forward to the future.”

  2. Wow, good for Penn Valley!
    I was recently in touch with the SI to see if they wanted to place a franchise in Susanville where I am hoping to open a Restaurant.
    They said they didn’t think Susanville would have the volume they were looking for.
    But they did ask me about perhaps having one in Nevada City.
    I explained that our last city council just made that an impossibility with a ban on franchises.
    We have enjoyed the old Truckee venue for years and the new one in Reno, so the Squeeze In will do well in PV.
    Lucky ducks.

    1. Beautiful! Just to clarify, the Squeeze In (one “n”) in Truckee and Reno are different than the Squeeze Inn franchises in Penn Valley, etc.
      Here’s the one for Truckee and Reno: http://www.squeezein.com/ http://www.sierraculture.com/foodwineart/fwablog/daniel-tosh-andy-samberg-bobby-flay-jerry-brown-and-other-notables-enjoy-dining-in-our-region/#.V6pcCD4rJz8
      And here’s the one for Penn Valley, Sacramento, etc (two “n”‘s): http://www.thesqueezeinn.com/ http://www.sierraculture.com/foodwineart/fwablog/popular-squeeze-inn-burger-joint-planned-for-penn-valley/#.V6pcTz4rJz8
      Both are good comfort food, though.

  3. Back in the day there was Mama Sue’s Squeeze Inn in Nevada City where Pine Street Cafe now resides. Her salsa was so popular that she sold it in grocery stores.

    1. Since we’re on Mama Sue. I did the photography for the labels on all her pepper jars, which she used and said she loved, and then I didn’t get paid for close a year. She also moved away after scamming a bunch of other people. Just some Mama Sue minutiae.

  4. The Truckee based Squeeze In would be good for Grass Valley.
    It would be ideal in the old Sizzler spot in the basin, but that wouldn’t be good for the little 50’s cafe that’s already there.
    Speaking of heavy competition, I do think the Union did bring up something that has a lot of folks I know very concerned.
    It’s this proliferation of non-profit thrift stores that’s happening all over the county.
    That, and the hike in the price of used goods has a lot of people thinking it’s ruining the experience.
    But, I guess with all us aging and declining boomers getting ready to shove off, someone is expecting a pretty good harvest.

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