By all arguments, burgers are the pillar upon which family-friendly limited service was built. Hopdoddy Burger Bar, however, is not catering to the kiddies. Yes, the Texas-based concept slings shakes, burgers, and fries, but the menu and the atmosphere are decidedly grown-up.
A robust beverage program ranging from milkshakes to cocktails and craft beer complements menu staples like the Primetime (Texas Akaushi beef patty, brie, truffle aioli, caramelized onions, and beefsteak tomato) and specials such as the recent Poutine Burger. Local brews have been an integral part of the brand since its inception in 2010 ("hop" is for the beer and "doddy" is a Scottish term for cows). Stores also make their own spirits in-house.
Meanwhile, barstools comprise most of the seating, and the bar itself serves as a focal point for the entire restaurant. Small windows into the back of the house grant diners a peek into Hopdoddy's scratch-made operation. One might show the butchery where antibiotic- and added hormone–free meats are ground into patties; through another, buns are fresh baked while Kennebec potatoes are blanched and cut daily.
CEO Jeff Chandler credits the brand's high quality, menu variety, and innovation as factors that will set it apart from competitors. So far it's a winning formula; in addition to Texas, Hopdoddy has a foothold in Arizona, Colorado, and California. This year it's projected to open six to eight new locations, including one in Nashville.