Austin's Newest Burger Joint Is...
Fuddruckers and Luby’s opened its new concept store—the side-by-side location of the two fast-casual family restaurants—just a few weeks ago at 415 W Slaughter Ln in South Austin. (It's like dating twins.) It’s part of a roll-out to open about a dozen stores across the state this year.
Luby's COO Peter Tropoli tells us the Texas-based chains fit the foodie mold for the Austin market because both brands are made-from-scratch, never-frozen Southern foods, he says. (We have to do a few extra reps on the StairMaster because we like the Fuddruckers buns; Peter tells us his favorite Fuddruckers burger topping is grilled pineapple with a little bit of teriyaki sauce.) Sales have been strong at both stores, he says.
Fuddruckers was founded in San Antonio in the early ‘80s, so it’s been in this region for years, Peter says, but now its eyes are on Austin. Luby’s purchased the Fuddruckers chain a few years ago and has been studying and learning it, Peter says, and with a better understanding, it was time to expand. The Slaughter location is the 10th prototype store, and he says several stores are now also under construction across Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth.
In late January, Fuddruckers opened at The Shops at The Galleria in Bee Cave. (Here’s the Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce welcome wagon.) Peter says he’s always looking for new locations where there’s a gap in the market. On the radar: El Paso, South Texas, and the major metro areas. The restaurants have flexible concepts, he says, including freestanding new construction or existing end-caps in trophy locations. Outside of work, Peter plays in a band with his company's CFO; his latest love is a new Fender Telecaster guitar he recently acquired.