Atkinson Builders, of Edna, kicked off demolition work of the Whataburger at 2010 Victory Drive in Marshall at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, to make room for a larger, modern building.
Contractor, Jim Davey, said a 4,000 square-foot facility will soon take the place of the 1965 bulldozed building.
“It’s going to be a ‘PT14L’ building,” he told the News Messenger Thursday morning. “It’s the largest version of the building that Whataburger builds right now.”
The building’s interior had already been partially ripped out in preparation of Thursday’s razing.
“They’ve taken out benches and kitchen equipment,” Davey said, naming some of the removed items.
“The (side) windows went to a music class,” he said, noting how neat that is.
Kayla Richardson, marketing director for Whataburger, described the remodeling project as “monumental.”
“We’re rebuilding a brand new store,” she told the News Messenger Wednesday, noting it’s going to take about two-and-half months to complete.
“We bought and tore down the catfish place next door,” she said of the former King of Seafood lot, which was also demolished this week.
“We’re going to take up all the space,” said Richardson
Richardson said their goal is to be back up and running in December.
“It’s really going to be nice,” Davey, the contractor, said of the new construction.
Whataburger’s San Antonio headquarters announced earlier this summer, in June, of its move to partner with merchant bank, BDT Capital Partners, to expand the eatery’s brand.
“Together, BDT and the Whataburger team will begin exploring expansion plans — while staying true to the brand it has been over the past 69 years,” a press release indicated.
“Whataburger has grown significantly over the years. And, in order to keep satisfying our customers, we’ve been exploring different options to expand the brand and introduce it to new audiences. We’ve gone through this process purposefully and diligently because we wanted to find a partner who honors our values, culture and 69-year legacy of family tradition,” stated Whataburger President/CEO Preston Atkinson. “We’re excited about the partnership with BDT because they respect and admire the brand we’ve built,” Atkinson continued. “They want to preserve it while they help us continue growing a sustainable, competitive business over a long period of time.”
Company officials said BDT will be key in providing strategic vision and long-term growth capital to the tenured Whataburger leadership team.
“We are excited to support Whataburger as they continue to innovate and pursue accelerated growth in existing and new markets,” said Tiffany Hagge, Managing Director of BDT Capital Partners. “This investment is a perfect example of BDT’s business model — to partner and invest alongside exceptional family businesses, with strong cultures, deep community ties and loyal customers.”
In addition to its new partnership, the Whataburger brand also celebrated a birthday earlier this month, as the company turned 69. Founded on Aug. 8, 1950, Whataburger started with a single roadside stand in Corpus Christi.
“Whataburger has focused on its fresh, made-to-order burgers and friendly customer service since 1950 when Harmon Dobson opened the first Whataburger as a small roadside burger stand in Corpus Christi, Texas,” the company’s website, whataburger.com, states. “Dobson gave his restaurant a name he hoped to hear customers say every time they took a bite of his made-to-order burgers: “What a burger!” Within the first week, people lined up around the block for his 25 cent, 100 percent beef burgers served on five-inch buns.”
To date, the brand has more than 830 restaurants in 10 states and boasts sales of more than $2 billion annually.