Tuesday, December 14, 2021

[ALERT] Texas-Based Hat Creek Burger Company Entering Georgia

Hat Creek Burger Company, a growing chain from West Lake Hills, Texas, near Austin, will in 2022 enter the Georgia market with locations planned for Newnan and Athens.  Despite its name, Hat Creek offers more than burgers and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving pancakes, breakfast tacos, chicken sandwiches and salads, too, among other menu options.  Drew Gressett launched Hat Creek as a food truck in 2008, and as a brick and mortar restaurant in 2011.  Today there are 27 locations currently open, all of which are in Texas.  

According to the Hat Creek website, the fast casual restaurant wants to be known for fellowship and fresh hamburgers.  At a time when Chick-fil-A, Burger King and McDonald's are all eliminating "play places/playgrounds" from new and rebuilt locations, Hat Creek makes their outdoor areas a focal point.  Their locations feature patios fit for children, which include a turf field, slides and a playground, as well as plenty of outdoor seating.  

According to development plans reviewed by ToNeTo Atlanta, the new restaurant in Bogart will feature "Brick, Shiplap and Stained Cedar Boards at Exterior. Tile and integral black concrete polish throughout interior with artificial turf and rubber matting at playground area."

This past July, Hat Creek named Atlanta executive Chris Phillips as the company's first Chief Strategy Officer (CSO).  Phillips joined Hat Creek from Atlanta-based Atticus Franchise Group where he served as the firm's Chief Investment Officer and Partner.  Prior to Atticus, Chris was an executive with Atlanta-based GPS Hospitality, a franchisee of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Pizza Hut and Burger King, and before that was an executive with then Atlanta-based Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.  

In addition to Phillips' role with Hat Creek, he serves in a similar capacity with 1788 Chicken, a sister company of the burger chain, that is a franchisee of Zaxby's.  According to the 1788 website, the firm is the largest Zaxby's franchisee in America and operates 37 Zaxby's restaurants throughout Arkansas, Oklahoma, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee.  

The Hat Creek in Newnan, expected to start construction soon at the northwest corner of the Newnan Crossing Bypass and Poplar Road, will be part of the new Oaks Crossing development and will be paired with a new Zaxby's that will be operated by 1788 Chicken.  

In Athens, the new Hat Creek will be built at 2045 Oconee Connector and will feature a 2,554 square foot building on a just over one acre parcel.  The new restaurant would be located just off Epps Bridge Parkway, adjacent to an existing Taco Bell.  

Have you ever been to Hat Creek Burger Company?  What are your thoughts on a burger joint open all day?  Where else would you like to see Hat Creek open in Georgia?

Please share your thoughts below.  

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