On January 8th 1900, the Salt Lake Tribune proclaimed that Commercial Street was known by a different “odorous” name, “Hamburger Avenue.”
Located in downtown Salt Lake City, the informally recognized Hamburger Avenue was located at what is now known as Regent Street: between Main and State Streets and 100 and 200 South Streets in the heart of what was then, and still is, the downtown business district.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune article, “Commercial Street is now known among the police as ‘Hamburger avenue.’ This Is not because it is in the tenderloin district, but is owing to the fact that every night from 7 o’clock till 2 the next morning the air is redolent with the fumes of Hamburger steak and onions, arising from the open-air lunch stands. Hamburger steak, red and rare as it shows on the plates, seems to be the Pièce de résistance of the man who has been out late, and who wants a snack before he reaches home and bed.”
The newspaper article continues to explain that the hamburger sandwich was not necessarily the choice of dishonorable citizens who are out late at night as it is not uncommon to see “well-known business men who have for some cause become belated, walk up to one of the…lunch stands, buy sandwiches and much on them on their way home.”