It's been said that chicken has replaced burgers as the big trend, but that may have been too hasty, as the Dallas area is about to see another burger name join our pack. Hat Creek Burger Co., a small chain from Austin, will open four locations, including one in Dallas on Walnut Hill Lane.
Two locations will open in Collin County, off 121 in Allen and at 3321 S. Custer Rd. in McKinney; a fourth is headed for Rowlett.
Hat Creek Burger Co. started out life as a food truck, launched by founder Drew Gressett in 2008. There are currently five locations around Austin. The menu has burgers and milkshakes, but also salads, breakfast, and beer. For non-beef-eaters, there is a turkey burger, a veggie grain burger, and a chicken sandwich. There are fries, sweet potato fries, and fried pickles — they're way into their pickles.
The first DFW branch opening will be McKinney, in early fall; the other three branches will open in late 2017 or early 2018.
Gressett was born in Dallas, and says that he and his family have great ties to the Dallas community.
"We decided on Dallas because of its large population of families looking for a great place to enjoy awesome food and awesome service," he says. "Along with our local partners, we're excited about bringing a great family-oriented place to Dallas."
The family-friendly atmosphere is an essential Hat Creek signature, says spokesperson Tara Miko. Every location has an indoor playground for kids, and each playground is unique.
"For our latest Austin branch, we retrofitted a vintage Silverstream trailer to tell the story of how Hat Creek began as a food truck," she says. "We're not doing pre-fab playgrounds — each location will have its own stamp and identity."
Everybody in the Hat Creek family has kids. "We aim to be the family-friendly restaurant," she says. "It's about providing a place for mom to sit outside by the playground with a glass of wine. We have great burgers, but we'd rather you come for the atmosphere and then try the burger and find out it's awesome."