Simply Good Burgers opens Copperas Cove location on Friday
By BRITTANY FHOLER
A new burger joint is opening in Copperas Cove this Friday at the former El Corral Mexican restaurant location at 301 E. Business Highway 190.
The owners of the Killeen-based food truck, Simply Good Burgers, will opeb their first brick-and-mortar location in Copperas Cove at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 14.
Simply Good Burgers is co-owned by siblings Gabriel O’Neal, Benjamin O’Neal and Sabrina Hebert.
The trio started the Killeen Food Truck Park at the location of what once was a car dealership located at 3101 S. Fort Hood Street in Killeen back in February 2020, with their own food truck, Simply Good Burgers, as one of the first food trucks in the park. Since then, the park has expanded to 12 food trucks.
“We had a car dealership first, and then basically me and my brother had a vision of a food business,” said Gabriel O’Neal. “We know how to cook burgers well, and so we decided on burgers, got a food truck and just jumped in.”
When the opportunity came to open a location in Copperas Cove, they jumped at it, he said. The siblings hired contractor Miguel Jimenez, who helped them completely renovate the building which had been sitting empty since the former tenant, El Corral, closed its doors in December 2018 for a new location.
The inside of the restaurant looks completely different compared to how the O’Neal siblings first found it, with new tiles, the removal of a walk-in freezer space and more. Gabriel said that without Jimenez and their electrician Ignacio Garcia, they wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what they did.
Gabriel added that they accomplished the majority of the construction prior to Winter Storm Uri, which also allowed them to open more quickly, because after the storm, materials have been hard to find or costs have risen exponentially.
Although the revamping was a lot more work than anticipated, Gabriel said that he is happy with how it turned out.
The Copperas Cove location is the second location for Simply Good Burgers and the first brick- and-mortar, but it is definitely not the last location, according to Gabriel.
“We’re not going to cap ourselves, so if it’s 30, 50 or 100, that’s where we’re going,” Gabriel said. “No limit.”
Gabriel said that finally opening a brick-and-mortar location is significant.
“It means a lot because going from a food truck to a brick and mortar is a huge jump, leap of faith,” Gabriel said. “We’re new to the food business, so we’ve been in the food business for a year and couple months, but we know in order to move where we want to go, we had to make this jump. I think it’s going to pay off. It’s a lot of hard work and dedication. Long nights. Missing paychecks. Sacrifice.”
Simply Good Burgers offers a variety of traditional and specialty burgers, ranging from single patties, double patties, triple patties and quadruple patties. Each patty is ¼ pound of Angus beef, and each one is smashed daily each morning. The French fries are hand-cut fresh from potatoes each morning as well.
Simply Good Burgers uses fresh ingredients only, with toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, etc. all cut every day. Burgers like the Mac Daddy feature homemade macaroni and cheese that is made in house.
“With a lot of fast food (burgers), pretty much everything is frozen,” Gabriel said. “Everything here is fresh, nothing is frozen. No shortcuts at all.”
Other menu items include the Cheesy Politician, which uses two grilled cheese sandwiches instead of a bun, with two patties, swiss cheese, pickles and a special house sauce.
Gabriel said his personal favorite is the Boss Hog, which has patties, lettuce, tomato, onions, special sauce made in house and loads of bacon.
The specialty burgers can be customized in terms of how many patties, Gabriel said.
At the restaurant, there will be one drive-thru lane, with employees outside taking orders to help make things more efficient. There is also a window for customers to walk up to, and there will be some outdoor dining seating. Gabriel said that they hope to eventually add a larger outdoor eating area on the side.
Gabriel said that the feedback from the community already has been great, and people are excited for the restaurant to open.
He added that when the siblings go to different businesses while wearing their Simply Good Burger shirts with the logo, it sparks conversation. In the first 15 minutes that O’Neal was at the location on Friday, three cars came through looking to order a meal.
“This is something that we’re just excited to be here, excited to build, get to know everybody in the community and just looking to be a staple in Copperas Cove because you are the first one to get the first brick-and-mortar,” Gabriel said.
Simply Good Burgers will open at 11 a.m. on Friday, and will have a Grand Opening celebration Friday and Saturday, with a ribbon cutting the following weekend.
Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Simply Good Burgers will be closed on Sundays.