Destination Illinois: Moonshine Store

Destination Illinois

MARTINSVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — It’s a burger joint famous for being a town of its own — with a population of two.

While that’s not technically true any longer, it’s still run by the same family. Two daughters-in-law are keeping traditions alive in Martinsville, Clark County.

WCIA 3’s Erin Valle is showing why Moonshine Store is a Destination: Illinois.

Valle: How many cheeseburgers from you have you eaten here in your lifetime?

“I think this one makes 967,” says Evalyn Goss.

Give the people a glorious, greasy burger, and they will travel far. Some come by bike.

Valle: Is this your definition of a cheeseburger in paradise?

“For sure,” says one patron.

“I don’t know if I can carry it,” says another.

Others will down a triple stack for the bragging rights, and a souvenir.

“Gotta eat the whole thing and he can get a t-shirt.”

As for co-owners Lisa and Jackie Tuttle, they never could have guessed the burger joint their mother-in-law opened in 1982 would become such a sensation that some would even visit by helicopter.

“A guy asked me the other day if we could buy part of that field and put an air landing strip in,” says Lisa.

Lisa and Jackie have run Moonshine since 2016. After their father-in-law Roy Lee passed away, his wife Helen hung up her spatula for good.

“They lived here for the whole time they owned it from ’82 and she moved out in ’16,” says Jackie.

While the second floor of the restaurant is no longer their in-law’s apartment, ‘Store Population 2’ still hangs proudly from Moonshine’s front porch.

“We just wanna try and keep it how Helen built it,” says Jackie. “She’s the one that brought it to where it is. And we just hope we can keep it at that point.”

Valle: What are the things that she did really well that you guys wanted to make sure did not change?

“Shutting the doors at 12:30, that didn’t change none,” says Lisa.

“And the quality did not change,” adds Lisa.

Countless hamburgers and 38,000 Facebook likes later, the little general store out in the cornfields has still kept its heart.

Valle: I will say, if you’re doing Moonshine right, you’ve probably made some friends here and have cozied up next to them at a table.

There are no strangers here — only friends you haven’t yet met.

Saturday is Moonshine’s busiest day. They dish out thousands of burgers with a record of over 3,000.

It’s best to get in line early. They open up at 6 a.m. — and they really do shut the grill off half past noon.

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