Burger King isn’t welcome in Mattoon. Well, at least not the popular food chain known for its Whopper of a burger. In fact, the chain restaurant can’t put a location within 20-miles of Mattoon. That’s because Gene and Betty Hoots’ trademarked their local restaurants “Frigid Queen” and “Burger King” in Illinois in 1957, before the home of the whopper ever put stores in the state.
The battle over the names came to a head in court about a decade later and, since the Hoots’ already had rights in Mattoon, a judge ruled they could keep their name, but only in their home town.