Whataburger plans for two Tuscaloosa locationsBy Lorin Byrd | 02/11/2018 9:16pm
By Lorin Byrd | Contributing Writer
Not only can UA students look forward to one Whataburger restaurant opening later this spring, but the hamburger chain also announced the beginning of construction for a second location closer to campus.
“There is something special about Tuscaloosa," said James Turcotte, Whatabuger's senior vice president of real estate, in a media statement. "Between The University of Alabama and economic growth, we’ve always known this is a community we wanted to be a part of.”
He also said they are working hard to get the first store up and running and look forward to the second opening.
There has been no official announcement as to when the first location will open, but it is expected to open within the next few months. The first location is along the intersection of Skyland Boulevard and Alabama Highway 69. The second location will be at the corner of 13th Street and McFarland Boulevard.
The fast-food restaurant is known for its 24-hour service and made-to-order burgers. It originated in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1950 as a small stand but has expanded with more than 820 locations in 10 states.
Charlee Gautreau, a sophomore majoring in political science, grew up in Texas and is excited for the two new locations.
“It will be like a little slice of home,” Gautreau said.
She also said it was a favorite spot among her friends to meet up after the local high school football games. She recalled a time when one of her friends drank an entire pitcher of iced tea, describing it as “really, really good.”
“If we didn’t have anything to do we’d just say ‘Let’s go to Whataburger,’” she said.
In addition to the 100-percent pure beef burgers, Whataburger also offers a breakfast menu. The honey butter chicken biscuit is one item that has fans excited. Kaitlin Holt, a sophomore double majoring in English and Spanish, said that she tried the biscuit once while on a trip to Houston and it “changed [her] life.”
Gautreau is also happy to soon be able to get a honey butter chicken biscuit within minutes from her apartment. She said one night when she first moved to Tuscaloosa, she drove all the way to Birmingham because she was craving one.
Grant Evans, a junior majoring in exercise science, has been a longtime fan of the fast-food chain.
“It is long overdue," he said. "I said years ago that it would be the perfect fast-food restaurant for a city like Tuscaloosa.”
Whataburger’s goal is to bring flavor to Crimson Tide fans 24 hours a day, seven days a week, said John Attra, the director of operations for Whataburger, in a news statement announcing the start of construction for the second location.
Evans said it will be very convenient to have two locations, considering it is open 24/7.
“It will be a hit at all times of the day and night,” he said. “Especially for those who have been out all night.”
The second location, as well as the first, will create up to 100 job openings. The company offers leadership and career development through the Whataburger University in San Antonio, Texas. Interested candidates can inquire through the company’s website.
To follow updates on opening plans, you can follow Whataburger’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat channels @WhataburgerLife.