Located on the southwest corner of Kentucky and Virginia streets in a building built in 1929 are two chefs working to enhance an American classic—the hamburger.
Brandon Horrocks and Craig Brundege opened Square Burger on June 14, 2010, with the goal of bringing their experience in fine dining to downtown McKinney.
Horrocks was approached with an offer to open a restaurant by two patrons he served during his time at the former GoodHues Wood Fired Grill, now The Pub, located just around the corner from Square Burger.
“We would see people come downtown, walk around the square, hop back in their cars and leave because there was no place to eat,” Horrocks said. “So the idea was to find something the square needed—a place that was casual, with no reservations, attractive to a wide demographic and affordable.”
Having worked at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant, Spago, and receiving inspiration from an “Oprah Winfrey Show” special featuring the best burgers in America, the pair decided to open a burger restaurant and began toying with their menu. Brundege originally wanted to feature a single grass-fed beef burger option, but after sampling the best beef Dallas had to offer, he decided to work only with grass-fed beef.
“I just remember the look on his face when he tasted the grass-fed compared to the grain-fed beef,” Horrocks said. “He told me, ‘I don’t know what we are going to do now, but I don’t think I can serve anything else.’”
The dedication to a grass-fed beef burger menu soon became a challenge, Horrock said, since most grass-fed beef suppliers had a set production style and the duo wanted more control of what they serve. However, there was one local who, at the time, was raising his own cattle to sell at the local farmers market.
“We wanted our beef fresh—not frozen—every day. We wanted input on the cuts and grinding process and were even prepared to grind the meat ourselves,” Horrock said. “The timing was just perfect because Matt Hamilton was just getting Local Yocal started, and he needed someone to consume all of the grinds from the prime cuts he was selling.”
Hamilton now supplies all of the beef for Square Burger’s burgers. It is walked over from Local Yocal each day.
“We get 120 pounds on Friday and another 120 pounds on Saturday,” Brundege said. “We sell between 500 [and] 600 pounds of burgers per week.”
Although Square Burger is known for its burgers, there are other items on the menu including chef specials such as lamb chops, salmon salad and pan-roasted chicken. Popular appetizers include sweet potato fries, Brundege said.
“We wanted to provide a great product with a great price where people could eat frequently,” Brundege said. “In addition [we wanted patrons to] have a place they could take their family where they feel good about what they’re feeding them.”