Boss Burger returns to its food-truck roots
The Boss Burger on Nederland’s Boston Avenue is set to close up shop by Saturday, but the operators had to shut the doors briefly at 2 p.m. Thursday to allow the staff to regroup.
Joe Oates, who co-owns the restaurant with Mary Tice Fuller, said the lunchtime surge was so great that they had to close in order to make enough patties for dinner.
“We’ve had people showing up that said they haven’t been here in six months, but they’re coming in now,” Oates said. “My cook said we should have been going out of business for a year now.”
Oates announced the decision with a Facebook post on Tuesday citing a “lack of business at night over the past year.” Two days later, the post had received 169 comments, 97 shares and 504 reactions.
“I’m sorry to read this,” one commenter wrote. “We always appreciated your acknowledgement of veterans and first responders. I wish you all the very best. We will visit your food truck/trailer.”
Boss Burger started with a trailer and a grill, and that is where Oates said he plans to return after he closes the physical restaurant he’s operated since 2017.
Oates, who came to Beaumont after working in offshore operations, said he and Fuller started the food truck to enjoy retirement traveling across the country. Instead, they wound up settling into the Nederland area and becoming the go-to lunch spot for the various refineries and businesses along the Twin City Highway.
Even as Oates and Fuller adapted their plans, one goal remained: serve the highest quality burger possible.
“If you have a good process, you get a good product and that’s what we do,” Oates said. “We only use meat made from chuck roast and tenderloin from Angus sourced from local farms. We used to grind it ourselves, but now we use 44 Farms.”
Business with the food truck was going well, he said, but he decided to invest in a brick-and-mortar store on Boston Avenue when business began to waver during the hot summer months. Within a year of being open, Boss Burger made the “Texas Bucket List” television show.
Again, he said, business started to boom — until Tropical Storm Harvey hit in August 2017.
“I like to think people found the value of family and chose to stay home to save money after the storm,” Oates said. “People have to leave work to eat lunch, but they don’t want to come back out for dinner.”
He also said that most of the small shops on Boston Avenue are closed after 4 p.m., meaning there wasn’t a lot of additional traffic for restaurants like Boss Burger.
Oates said he isn’t leaving the community anytime soon.
“I’ve never really been a part of a community before,” Oates said. “You see a town grow, and the people you know move on with your lives. I’ve never had that before.”
During Harvey, Oates opened up the restaurant as a base for the Jeep enthusiast group Bottom’s Up that was coordinating aid and emergency pickups.
He said he plans to have the trailer back in business by the end of next week, making the rounds at local plants and businesses.
The restaurant will be open until Saturday or until the last patty is cooked and served.