Restaurant offers a throwback to a 'simpler' time
For five years, Patrick Terry thought the former credit union at the Village at Westlake shopping center would be the perfect spot for his Austin-based burger chain, P. Terry's Burger Stand. In June, he opened the Westlake location, which was his sixth restaurant—the third in just one year.
"It's actually the same walls and same structure [from the credit union], just a gazillion dollars later it became a P. Terry's," Terry said.
The Westlake location is the chain's largest so far at 3,500 square feet and features double drive-thru lanes—a throwback to the building's time as a bank and another first for the restaurant.
The double drive-thru allows the restaurant to serve people efficiently, Terry said, adding that he hopes to have more locations with double drive-thrus in the future.
After opening the first P. Terry's on Barton Springs Road and South Lamar Boulevard, Terry knew Westlake would be a great place to open a restaurant.
"We came here because my wife and I worked at the original restaurant for the first few years every day, and we saw people coming from North Austin and Westlake," he said.
Owning and operating a burger stand had always been Terry's dream, he said.
"The truth is, I've always wanted a burger stand. I've literally been talking about it half my life," he said. "I love the idea of making a milkshake and handing it to someone. There is something very classic, representative of who we are that says burger, fries and a milkshake. It's something inherent in most of our lives, and to be a part of that is pretty cool."
Growing up in Abilene, Texas, Terry was inspired by Mack Eplen's Drivateria restaurant and wanted to create a tribute to the early '60s dining experience.
"The whole idea is to try and take you to a different time, a little simpler time," he said.
Terry said he is focused on keeping things simple at the restaurant, including the menu, which is limited to beef, chicken or veggie burgers, fries, shakes, lemonade and cookies.
The restaurant uses the same meat supplier as Whole Foods Market, but strives to keep its prices down, he said.
"Fortunately, Central Texas and Austin—they kind of get what we are doing," Terry said. "It wouldn't work everywhere."
Before opening his restaurant, Terry's wife recommended he read "Fast Food Nation," a critical look at the fast-food industry.
From the science of making the perfect french fry to planning out the colors on the walls, every part of the restaurant has been studied and examined to create the perfect dining experience, he said.
"It's really a pie cut in three pieces—quality of the food, service and atmosphere," he said. "I feel like all three really makes for a nice experience."
Terry said he also wants to give back to the community that has supported him. Each quarter, the restaurant donates the profits from one Saturday's sales to a different local charity.
The P. Terry's Burger Stand menu was designed to be as simple as possible. Diners can chose among three types of burger patties—chicken, beef or veggie—served with or without fries. Owner Patrick Terry said his favorites include:
- Milkshakes (regular $2, large $2.60)— Flavors include vanilla, strawberry and double chocolate, with some new twists, including caramel and root beer
- Hamburger ($2, $4.95 for a combo)—A 100 percent all-natural Angus beef patty with lettuce, tomato and special sauce (Terry said he likes to add pickles)
- French fries ($1.55)—Fresh-cut and cooked in canola oil
Before opening as P. Terry's Burger Stand, the location in the Village at Westlake Shopping Center served as a credit union, owner Patrick Terry said. The restaurant's design took the building's former use into account. Terry said most of the building's original structure is in place, with the addition of several windows near the top of the structure and some other architectural elements.
Terry said he also took advantage of the credit union's former drive-thru to install the Austin-based chain's only double drive-thru lanes to serve customers more efficiently. The two-lane system could be replicated at future locations, he said.
P. Terry's Burger Stand, 701 S. Capital of Texas Hwy., Bldg. H, 306-0779, www.pterrys.com
- Mon.–Thu. 7 a.m.–10 p.m.
- Fri. 7 a.m.–11 p.m.
- Sat. 8 a.m.–11 p.m.
- Sun. 8 a.m.–10 p.m.