Earl Owens, owner of iconic Southwest Detroit restaurant Telway Hamburgers, has died. Owens passed away at his home on June 18, according to Metro Times.
Owens was born on December 25, 1929. The history of Telway isn’t entirely clear. According to some sources, Owens opened the restaurant in 1944 at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Martin Road. However, records provided by the founder C.L. Sampson’s grandson show that Owens worked as a manager at Telway through the 1960s before buying out Sampson. The restaurant eventually expanded to a second location in Madison Heights at John R and 11 Mile Road. Owens’ death was confirmed by friends of the restaurant on social media early Monday morning.
Under Owens’ stewardship the burger stand remained a largely unchanged slice of Americana for decades. As one of the few restaurants in Detroit open 24-hours a day, Telway continues to be a popular, inexpensive spot to grab a late-night bag of sliders and a cup of coffee.
It’s unclear at this time whether a memorial has been scheduled. Stay tuned for updates.
Correction: A previous version of this story suggested that Owens was the founder of Telway. A source tells Eater he was a longtime manager who eventually purchased the restaurant.