The Potters eventually built and moved into a tiny apartment above the restaurant where they made the best burgers and milkshakes in the world, bar none, Martin said.
âMy uncle and aunt were coming from General Anderson Avenue just for a milkshake,â she said. âThey also made floats, but they didn’t know what a Chocolate Coke float was until I ordered one. They did it for me and after that they knew it was what I always loved.
This kind of personal treatment couldn’t help win Martin’s heart and loyalty for life.
âWhen I had minor surgery in the 1950s I needed an ice pack and my dad went to see if he could buy an ice pack from the igloo,â he said. she declared. âThey found out and they continued to send ice packs home for free.
âWhen my son, Jeff, had a stomach flu and couldn’t keep on anything, the doctor said to take Coca Cola syrup to calm his stomach,â she recalls. âSo I asked if they had any Coca Cola syrup that I could buy, and they just squirted it into a mug and said, ‘no charge’. “
That was back when Coke wasn’t premixed, she added: a âjerk sodaâ had to mix the syrup and seltzer water while you waited and chatted.
Although Martin can’t remember the mailman’s name, she does recall the signature burger created in his honor by the staff at Igloo when they first started out.
âThere were things: a fried egg and bacon on it,â she said. “He ordered it everyday and everyone knew it was his burger.”
The Igloo restaurant was like that – the kind of place where everyone knew your burger.
Boom Bam Smackle!
Those of the Facebook group âGrowing up in Vancouverâ recalled the glory days of the igloo.
âThe nicest homeowners living at the top,â Lennette Watson recently posted. âGo to school Harney was a killer right next to the igloo. Believe me, we went out of our way to make a dime or a dime to buy their flavored ice cream cones. New flavor every day! â
âLoved the original owners, Randy and Lou,â posted Marie Michael. âWe became great friends and Lou took me for my 21st birthday. They also loved and fed my daughter very much.
Others who have posted to the âGrowing Up in Vancouverâ site still celebrate the world’s best cherry suckers, black licorice ice cream, strawberry milkshakes and chocolate malts.
âIt used to be the home of the 1lb Boom Bam Smackle Burger,â added Jeff Lovejoy, âand you’ve got your picture on the wall if you’re done with it all.â
While the place was beloved and scenic, the igloo has collapsed in recent years, overtaken by the proliferation of fast food outlets and drive-thru restaurants on major roads and highways. It even drew its fair share of unrest and tragedy, including an upstairs fire and a car that missed the turn where the building is located, hitting the restaurant terrace and killing all three men in the vehicle.
âIt just fizzled out, I guess,â Martin said. âIt’s disappointing, but I understand. There are so many cheap fast food outlets that can buy (supplies) wholesale now. “
But that’s not the same as a friendly gathering place with a neon sign that shines like a beacon for the whole neighborhood, she said.
âHe stood out with blocks,â said Martin, âand when you saw him you knew you were coming home.â