San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

by BRAD ROLLINS

One of San Marcos’ Whataburger locations will be demolished and rebuilt as a prototype store intended to “set the standard for new Whataburger restaurants going forward,” a company executive said on Monday.

The restaurant’s drive-through and dining room will remain open during the first phase of construction which includes relocation of a wastewater line and a parking lot expansion. In June, Whataburger will close temporarily while the old building is removed and a new one built slightly off the existing footprint. The new 3,600-square-foot restaurant is scheduled to open in August.

The Whataburger at Texas 123 near northbound Interstate 35 is “one of the busiest locations in the entire company,” said James Turcotte, senior vice president for real estate at San Antonio-based Whataburger Restaurants LP. The company currently has more than 750 corporate- and franchisee-owned stores in 10 southern and southwestern states.

“We’re excited to unveil our new restaurant design prototype in San Marcos where we have so many loyal customers,” Turcotte said.

In 1961, Whataburger unveiled a new A-frame building design in Odessa, an architectural feature that became central to the company’s brand identity. Whataburger stopped using the A-frame design in the 1970s because it did not comply with more restrictive building codes or allow for adequate kitchen space, company officials say. But many stores built since the 70s, including the Texas 123 location, were designed with high-pitched, orange-and-white roofs that evoke the familiar A-frame.

Company officials declined to release artists’ rendering of the new prototype design through a spokesperson for Austin-based Hahn Public Communications, the Whataburger’s public relations firm.

When construction is complete, Whataburger will have frontage on the Interstate 35 access road. Last year, the company bought about an acre where a former Texaco gas station and car wash have sat vacant for years at the southeast corner of Texas 123 and Interstate 35.

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