Charles Ramsey, who helped free Cleveland kidnap victims, gets burgers for life
Apparently, creating a special hamburger to honor Charles Ramsey was just the beginning.
Now, the hero in the rescue of four kidnap victims held captive on Cleveland's West Side for roughly 10 years will enjoy free burgers for life.
More than a dozen Northeast Ohio restaurants have pledged an offer of a burger anytime Ramsey wants to stop by and dig in. AMP 150 at the Marriott Cleveland Airport; Washington Place Bistro and Inn in Little Italy; Fahrenheit restaurant in Tremont; Market Garden Brewery, Bier Markt, Bar Cento and Nano Brew in Ohio City; Welshfield Inn in Troy Township; Hodges and Pura Vida in downtown Cleveland; 87 West at Crocker Park in Westlake; Orchard House restaurant in Brunswick; Flour restaurant in Moreland Hills, and the Allegheny Grille in Foxburg, Pennsylvania, have joined in the offer.
The burger tribute was inspired by Ramsey, who stopped eating his meal of a Big Mac to intervene and aid the escape of Amanda Berry and her daughter, along with Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight.
Soon afterward, Hodges restaurant, where Ramsey works as a dishwasher, created the Ramsey Burger, a play on a Big Mac.
"It's an 8-ounce burger of Certified Angus Beef, with a secret sauce," says chef-co-owner Chris Hodgson. Initially offered as a weeklong special, the sandwich has been promoted to permanent status on Hodges' menu.
Which got Hodgson's partner, Scott Kuhn of Driftwood Restaurant Group, thinking a bigger tribute was due.
"We want to honor our local hero with local food," said Kuhn, who operates four of the restaurants participating in the offer. "He stopped his meal midway through to help those women. We're now making sure he has other opportunities to go out and fully enjoy his burger."
A single-edition "Chuck Card," good for life, is being stamped in Ramsey's honor. Anytime that Ramsey takes the card into one of the participating restaurants, he'll get a free burger.
"I'm sure some places will give him more -- maybe add fries and a soft drink -- but that will be up to them," Kuhn says.
Ramsey, who has been traveling during a paid leave from his job at Hodges, was not available for comment. The Chuck Card will be formally presented to him when he returns to Cleveland.