THE HISTORY OF NATION’S
A Man, a Buick, and a Hot Dog Stand
That’s how Nation’s began. Actually, it’s how Harvey’s began. Russ Harvey traded his 1948 Buick for a ten-foot wide, six-stool hot dog stand in San Pablo. It turned out to be the best move he ever made. Well, that and the decision to expand his menu.
One day, Russ decided to add hamburgers to his menu. Giant Hamburgers. With tons of toppings. Sure enough, people liked them. Very much. Word spread and people started lining up for Russ’s new creation. The Original Giant Hamburger was born and Harvey’s Giant Hamburgers was in business. That’s right, Harvey’s.
In 1961, teenager Dale Power asked Russ for a job. Russ needed someone for maintenance and janitorial work, so Dale was hired. He worked at Harvey’s through high school and his undergraduate and graduate studies at UC Berkeley. In 1970 Dale purchased his first restaurant in Oakland’s Jack London Square and featured the Original Giant Hamburger. Dale called the restaurant “Nation’s” since he and Russ believed they made the best hamburger anywhere in the nation. Subsequently, “Harvey’s” became “Nation’s”; and Dale became his partner. Now, more than 55 years later, Russ enjoys retirement and Dale continues his active involvement, while serving as Nation’s Chairman of the Board, Dales son, Grant, joined the company in 2007 after earning an MBA and becoming a lawyer. Grant Power is now President and CEO.
Throughout the years, Nation’s has consistently been voted “The Best Hamburger” in consumer polls by the Oakland Tribune, Diablo Magazine, Contra Costa Times and the Tri-Valley Herald.
Much has changed over 60 years. The menu has expanded to include breakfast, in addition to lunch and dinner, and many new items. Great Pies from our own bakery have become a huge hit. We have 29 locations, all with more than six stools. And the hairdos are less vertical. But one thing remains the same: Nation’s continues to serve generous portions of quality food at reasonable prices.