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Our History

Clarke's Charcoal Broiler was established in 1945 by H.W Bill Clarke and his wife. Bill was stationed at nearby Moffett Field Naval Air Field in Mountain View, California from 1932-1939. As an enlisted naval coxman he was assigned to the airship Macon and survived the 1938 crash in the Pacific Ocean that destroyed the airship and claimed the lives of 2 of his comrades.

Mr. Clarke retired and settled in Mountain View and built the little A-Framed burger joint, specializing in authentic Real Charcoal Broiler method of cooking. He combined his love of BBQ and his knowledge of Beef to perfect what is known as The Clarkesburger

The original Clarke's Charcoal Broiler was a simple operation with just room for 20 guests seated at high top tables with padded cast iron stools. The famous Condiment Bar was located directly in middle of the restaurant, with the fireplace built into the wall to warm the building during the winter months.

After 10 very successful years, the Clarke family sold to a charming couple named Lou and Laura Galletta. Lou and his wife took great pride in Clarkes and their employees often helping them out during difficult times, in return the employees became lifelong friends. 

The Gallettas retired after 22 years and settled in Sonora foothills, enjoy many years of fresh mountain air and the relaxing pace in that part of California.

In 1972 Clarke's was purchased by Jim and Liz Blach who still own Clarke's Charcoal Broiler today. It is in the last 42 years of operation
that Clarke's has seen itself grow in popularity, capacity, as well as new menu items, with
many of these additions introduced,
concocted and perfected by Jim, affectionately known as Mr. B. 

Through the years, Jim and Lizs' children have worked, managed or constructed the many additions you see present time. 

 

There's a real family feeling to Clarke's and it continues today with the 3rd generation of Blach's coming of age.

In April 2015, Clarke's will celebrate 70 years of continuous operations in its original location, 615 W. El Camino Real Mountain View,
94040 California USA. 

Thank you for reading about our history and do not forget to share your history with Clarke's on our Facebook page.