Wimpi Chain opening in Israel
by Macabee Dean
The first two "Wimpy" corner houses- another 48 are planned- will be opened in mid- September on the cutskirts of Haifa and "about midway" between Tel Aviv and Haifa on the main highway, states Mr. Yoel Keros, Manager of the "Wimpy-Israel" chain. Sponsored jointly by Lyons, of England, and Medijuice, of Tel Aviv, each corner house will cost approximately IL15,000 plus another IL15,000 for the land, development, etc.
The "Wimpy" stands, which were initiated in England where there are today more than 500- with a new one opening each week- have spread to many foreign countries, including the U.S. (where Howard Johnson has the franchise). France, Iran, Kenya, and twenty other countries. They specialize in selling meat patties (a euphemism for hamburgers) on a specially toasted roll; fish oatties, and a variety of light drinks. The prices are very popular.
The next three are scheduled to rise before the end of the current year "in the Negev, Galilee and on the Tel Aviv- Jerusalem road". Definite sites have not yet been selected.
The corner houses in Israel have been especially designed by Mr. David de Mayo, who recently returned to Israel after studying architecture and design for years in Scandinavia. "They are all built around a central chimney- which is red and five meters tall- thus being a landmark," he says. The chimney, which is in fact a grill at the lower end, also contains an exhaust ventilator. The rest of the stand is made of fiberglass, as is the roof. "Since the roof, for example, is made in 1.35 meter by 1.35 meter squares, it is possible to put up a corner house of any conceivable size," Mr. de Mayo says. The smallest one he has planned has a floor space of 16 square meters.
 The prefabrication at a central factory also offers other advantages: it takes two days to build one (if the foundations and installations are in place), and it can be dismantled and moved to another site within hours. The prefabricated sections allow the stand to the built in almost any shape- rectangular, triangular, or square.
"This is the first time, to my knowledge, that fibre-glass has been used here as the basic construction material, not an adjunct to other building materials," Mr. de Mayo says.