In 1929 when the shop first opened, Nickburgers were served on dinner rolls.
On Hobo Day, 1947, a record 4,450 Nickburgers were served. Stacked one atop the other, they would have reached well above the height of the 700-foot Coughlin Campanile on the SDSU campus.
Nick’s Hamburger Shop owner Dick Fergen holds the bicycle coasting record for Brookings, set in about 1952. Casting off from the Brookings Swimming Pool, he headed west down Forth Street. Without touching the pedals, and by avoiding the stop signs and timing his approach to busy street corners, he managed to coast all the way to the city Main Avenue, run the stop light and continue coasting until he reached Pioneer Park. No other young Brookings cyclist has ever equaled this record that has stood the test of time for over fifty years.
When looking for a town in which to start their hamburger shop, Harold and Gladys Niklason of Spencer, Iowa, considered Madison as having more potential. But someone told them that Madison was “more of a drinking town,” so they picked Brookings instead.
Dick Fergen also held the underwater swimming record at the old Brookings Swimming Pool in Hillcrest Park. He swam two lengths plus of the pool underwater, without surfacing. Because the old pool is no more, his record will live down through the ages.
At one time, the Niklason’s purchased three steers every twelve days to provide the meat for their hamburgers.
Who holds the title of champion Nickburger consumers? For years the most Nickburgers ever eaten at one setting was, set by an SDSU student who downed 25 1/2 Nickburgers at one session a few years ago. Owner Dick Fergen tore up his Nick's Hamburger bill. Break that 25 1/2 Nick's hamburger record and eat free, says Fergen.