A burger chain from California still fairly new to Dallas-Fort Worth (and therefore still exciting) has a new location on the books: Fatburger, the revered and long-running chain based in Los Angeles known for its truly fat burgers, is opening its first location on the east side of town, at Firewheel Town Center, 365 Coneflower Dr. in Garland.
It'll take over a space vacated by a BurgerIM, and will open mid to late summer, says owner franchisee Alfredo Gonzalez.
Fatburger is known for its juicy, built-to-order burgers, more like a burger restaurant offering than a fast-food joint and well ahead of its time in that regard. At one-third of a pound, a standard Fatburger is heftier than the typical fast-food patty, and has more of a hand-formed, less symmetrical appearance.
Founder Lovie Yancey was a trailblazer in the realm of toppings transforming a burger into a meal, beyond the usual lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles, with bacon, eggs, chili, jalapenos, and onion rings.
In addition to burgers, Fatburger's menu also includes Fat and Skinny fries, sweet potato fries, Impossible burgers, turkeyburgers, chicken sandwiches, and milkshakes.
The chain has also become a favorite destination in Hollywood for celebrities and athletes.
It made its debut in Texas in 2020 with a location in North Richland Hills that was a combination Fatburger and Buffalo's Express, a fast-casual wing chain founded in 1985 in Roswell, Georgia that is a popular co-branding option for Fatburger franchisees.
Two others have since opened: One in Arlington and another in Allen, which is also from Gonzalez. Garland will be his second.
"During the pandemic, I left my executive job at AT&T to try my hand at entrepreneurship," Gonzalez says. "We opened Allen on August 30, 2021. I wasn't thinking about a second location, but the owners of Firewheel Town Center invited me to consider it."
He liked the opportunity because the restaurant is inside the mall, where he'll be the only burger and only concept of its kind.
"Fatburger definitely has a following, which we've seen in Allen," he says. "There's a big vegetarian community, and they like it because we offer options like the Impossible burger and a veggie burger."
Two other locations are also in the works, both also dual-branded with Buffalo's Express, but from a different franchisee: Plano, at Park Boulevard and the Dallas North Tollway, scheduled to open in June; and Keller, at 1521 Keller Pkwy., scheduled to open in July.
But everyone opens restaurants on that side of town. East of 75, that's a big deal.