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The original Macheezmo Mouse was founded by William "Tiger" Warren in 1981 after a short career in Hollywood. The chain based out of Portland, Oregon had much success in the 80's and into the mid 90's, even making an appearance on Oprah. Macheezmo Mouse was one of the first fast food chains in the US, that produced healthy choice fast food at a great price.
Disagreements over the direction of the restaurant and the tragic November 1999 death of Macheezmo Mouse founder Tiger Warren - whose float plane crashed into the Columbia River east of Portland, killing Warren and his three sons - led to the demise of what had been a rapidly expanding chain.
According to Jeff Burlingame, a managing partner of the original Macheezmo Mouse, there was also a difference of opinion, starting from the top, about the direction of the company and the healthy aspects of it. "Others thought (healthy) wasn't the way to go. While trying to get that all sorted out, Tiger dies. And without his direction and backing, it was the beginning of the end."
According to Mocheezemo Mouse legend, Gus Van Sant, who studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, both came up with the Macheezmo Mouse name and painted murals for its early locations, one of which is shown here. Jeff and Danell Burlingame, the Beaverton couple who are trying to revive the restaurant, mentioned that the mural on the outside of the Hawthorne store has been painted over. However, the mural shown here still exists at Chez Machin at 3553 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd., just across the street from the Baghdad Theater, and a former home of one of the first Macheezmo Mouse locations.
In spite of the original closing, there is still a nostalgic base of followers who remember the chain, its food and Macheezmo's wonderful tangy, sweet Boss Sauce.