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Ranger Burger is coming back to the Columbus area thanks to two Army veterans

Columbus Ledger-Enquirer - 12/25/2019

Dec. 24--Two Army veterans are giving new life to a beloved burger and a famed restaurant that once welcomed Ft. Benning's Army privates and decorated generals for decades.

Joey Hancock and Ryan Sikes will open Ranger Burger on Jan. 6 at the old Four Winds location (464 Hwy. 26) in Cusseta. The two men were stationed together at Fort Benning from 2010-12, and both men retired from the military in 2017. During their time at Benning, they developed an affinity for Four Winds and its burgers.

"I ate out there a lot when I was stationed at Benning," Hancock said. "It was pretty quick for me to get out of the gate and get down there to Cusseta and grab some burgers. ...It's a very well known place, and we're just excited to bring it back to life."

The Ranger burger will return but with a twist. Previously, it featured two 8-ounce ground beef patties, two slices of cheese and two strips of bacon on a large bun. The new iteration will feature four 4-ounce ground beef patties, four pieces of cheese and the bacon strips.

"It's still gonna be a whole pound of ground beef," Hancock said. "I just think them (old) patties are just too big."

The old "Ranger Challenge" -- an 86-ounce steak, one-pound basket of fries, side salad, roll and beverage that must be consumed in 45 minutes -- won't return. But there are plans for some sort of food challenge, Hancock said.

The rest of the menu will feature a new set of signature burgers, appetizers and sides. Its dinner menu will also feature some classic meat and three options. There are plans for fish fry Fridays and Sunday buffets. Only the lunch menu will be served in the restaurant's first few weeks. Hancock said.

Hours of operation will be 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 12-5 p.m. Sunday. There will be a soft opening ahead of the Jan. 6 grand opening, he said.

Susan and Donald Cox launched Four Winds in 1979, moving to the Hwy. 26 location in 1992. It had become a tradition of sorts for Army Rangers to consume a Ranger burger as part of their transition into the Special Operations ranks.

Susan Cox tried to lease the property several times after losing Donald and her mother, Mary Renfroe, a few weeks apart in the summer of 2013. The property was put up for sale in March 2018.

"This place was started by a veteran and now it's being taken over by veterans," Hancock said. "The history of this place really drew me and Ryan to it."

Ledger-Enquirer archives were used in this story.

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