Shakie’s Hamburger Stand was a mainstay in Jordan River for more than 25 years. (Contributed - Sooke Region Museum)

Shakie’s Hamburger Stand was a mainstay in Jordan River for more than 25 years. (Contributed - Sooke Region Museum)

SOOKE HISTORY: Shakie’s Hamburger Stand once a must-stop at Jordan River

It became a mecca drawing surfers and ocean watchers alike

Elida Peers | Contributed

It’s been gone since 2007, but for 25 years, Shakie’s Hamburger Stand on Highway 14 at Jordan River was the must-stop place for visitors and surfers alike.

While Jordan River had evolved as a busy town in 1909 with the advent of Vancouver Island Power Company and as headquarters for harvesting the Jordan River Valley forests, by the late 20th century, the village had few permanent residents.

Instead, it became a mecca drawing surfers and ocean watchers.

MORE HISTORY: The road to Sooke’s incorporation

Later in the century, it was Western Forest Products that took the leading role in a succession of corporate giants in forest harvesting. There were smaller operators as well, such as Les Wade. He operated a hilltop shake mill on the eastern side as you descended into Jordan River.

Busy as he was cutting cedar shakes, Les Wade saw the opportunity to provide food service to the hungry hordes swarming to the western beaches. In 1982, he set up a hamburger booth on the highway near where you see the log sort now, and business began pouring in.

Because Les Wade had become known as Shakie Wade through his milling, it was only natural that the hamburger booth became known as Shakie’s.

After a decade, Shakie Wade felt like taking life a bit easier and sold the booth to Cathy Lajeunesse, who operated a little store in Jordan River. The place was so popular you had to wait in line at Shakie’s for burgers, fries, giant ice-cream cones. Cathy was even recognized in a national magazine for her chocolate chip cookies, Surfer Balls.

I recall waiting in line one winter day while one of the waitresses paused to answer the telephone. The caller asked a question, for we heard her answer with one word, “HUGE.” We understood, for indeed the breakers were huge.

Today, the breakers are still huge, and some folk call this the best surfing beach on this side of Hawaii.

Change comes, however, and today, mainly because of B.C. Hydro concerned the proximity of its upriver diversion dam and the potential for a disastrous earthquake, most locals have left for other homes elsewhere.

An entire new population is now extending Jordan River’s home sites well beyond the potentially hazardous river mouth. While a new culture is being enjoyed, they’ll not have the opportunity of sampling Shakie Burgers.


Elida Peers is the historian of the Sooke Region Museum.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Local HistorySooke

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rachna Singh, MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers, is the Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives. (Photo courtesy of
A micro brewery is being eyed for Jordan River. However, the site where the brewery is proposed still needs to go through the rezoning process. (Black Press Media file)
Micro brewery proposed for Jordan River

Jordan River Brewing Company envisions to build wholesale, sit-in brewery along Highway 14

Traffic waits at the intersection of Highway 17 and Beacon Avenue. A study found failing levels of service at the intersection of Highway 17 and Sidney’s Beacon Avenue for multiple movements during morning peak traffic and for all left-moving traffic during afternoon peak traffic. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Province supports potential interim improvements to Sidney intersection

Province says interchange is the long-term plan for intersection of Beacon Avenue and Highway 17

Oak Bay local Lachlan Kratz (red, middle) has signed with pro rugby team NOLO Gold in Louisiana. (Contributed photo)
Oak Bay local signs with pro rugby team

Lachlan Kratz at 21 is now NOLO Gold’s youngest member

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

The Attorney General’s Ministry says certain disputes may now be resolved through either a tribunal or the court system, pending its appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that reduced the tribunal’s jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Court of Appeal grants partial stay in ruling on B.C. auto injuries

B.C. trial lawyers challenged legislation brought in to cap minor injury awards and move smaller court disputes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

Most Read