Mr. Bunky's is a tall, 2 story building w/ a couple of gas pumps out front. And from the looks you can see a large front porch, w/ "Mr Bunky's" clearly above the porch in large letters. In other words, You Can't Miss It! And miss it you shouldn't!
My wife and I were forced to move to Sumter, SC summer 2011. We have family in Aiken County, so our weekly drives takes us right down Hwy 378, passing right by Mr. Bunky's. And for the first 3-4 months of communting that 2hr trip, we passed right by it, never paying it no mind, as we thought it looked like an old country convenience store.
That changed, when a cousin of mine, who lives nearby in Hopkins, suggested we meet at Mr. Bunky's, "They have the best hamburgers." And that truly is a quote, and my wife said, "They serve food there?" So we made the stop and have stopped ever since!
Just last evening on our trip (26Sep) through to Aiken County, we stopped yet again to split a cheeseburger and share an order of fries and beer battered onion rings.
They do have a "hot bar", salad bar, or you can order from a menu. Seating is anywhere you want, with a combination of booths or free standing tables (seating from 4-12 at tables).
We've been there through fall, winter, spring, summer, and now to fall 2012 w/ at least a dozen stops now. We've witnessed Weekend Drill's (McEntire ANG is 5mins away), slam full Friday nights, empty mid-mornings, and medium sized crowds during weeknights.
It's easy to see how they are doing in the restaurant by judging from the parking out front and the overflow on the side atop the rise on the west.
The restaurant is only a side business as the main business is a bit of hardware, 2nd floor consignments (antique shopping) + a book exchange (free), butcher shop, and a large freezer selection of hog's heads, well, lots of frozen meats - and they sell meats in bulk.
I've asked repeatedly about the rumor I've heard about how the beef is local and never filled. And no matter who, or what time of year, I get the same answer, the beef is local, butchered right there and has nothing added to it. And it tastes like it. They do have ribeyes (a select few are marinating w/ Mr. Bunky's secret sauce and are always at the ready when the restaurant gets an order). We've tried a variety of foods there, but our mainstay is the cheeseburger, fries and their delightful pineapple/hawaiian cake. They have desserts set apart in separate, single served containers, but don't pass on this cake.
It's consistently moist and flavorful.
You will be greeted w/ a hearty hello or hey. You may get eyeballed occassionally from the locals, but it's very quick and won't last. People are simply interested I guess (nosey? lol) The sweetened tea is a little inconsistent. It's never been "bad" per se, but you can tell when they mix old and fresh. Most of the time, it tastes fresh, but just last night, it was strong and a bit mixed (easily to discern). The staff is warm and friendly - drop by, sit under the Budweiser Dog or sit near the space heater - oh yeah, space heater, in the winter - this is the spot where people will sit. Heat along the outer walls is minimal, sit near the center of the store or near that space heater!
Also at one time, someone was avid about flying, Mr. Bunky? (oh yes he's real, saw him milling about last night - good sport - very humble) There are model airplanes hanging above you in one section. The ambience is what it is, nothing more, nothing less - but don't pass by without a 'burger!
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