Presto change-o

P. Terry's drive-thru burger stand cooks up new UT Austin campus location

P. Terry's drive-thru burger stand cooks up UT Austin campus location

P. Terrys MLK
The first campus location of P. Terry's will open in spring 2020. Rendering by Michael Hsu Office of Architecture

First the bad news: After little more than one year in business, the Taco Ranch at 517 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. wrapped up service on December 20. Still, owners Terry Enterprises haven’t given up on the address. The building will soon be transformed into a P. Terry’s Burger Stand.

After a long-running campus Taco Cabana shuttered in July 2017, Terry Enterprises snagged the building to turn it into the second location of new restaurant Taco Ranch in October 2018. In a release, the company explained the change fit the current goals of the company.

“As much as we love Taco Ranch, as a company with all eyes on expanding P. Terry’s, it just made sense to have a presence at the University of Texas,” said P. Terry’s and Taco Ranch co-founder Patrick Terry via release.

Like the other locations of P. Terry’s, the building is being renovated by Michael Hsu Office of Architecture. Though not a carbon copy of the other locations, it will have the same retro-modern aesthetic using the signature red and aqua color scheme.

The familiar menu of burgers, fries, shakes, and breakfast sandwiches can be ordered inside to be enjoyed in the dining room or through two drive-thru lanes. The eatery will also feature a shaded patio for al fresco dining.

All of the Taco Ranch employees were offered jobs at other P. Terry’s locations or the original Taco Ranch location, which opened at 5033 W. Hwy. 290 in January 2018. While that outlet will remain open, it seems like the Taco Ranch brand will remain a solo venture for the immediate future.

"We are excited to give the UT campus and its neighboring businesses a P. Terry’s of their own. Our anticipated spring opening is one of several new locations slated for 2020 as we continue our expansion in Austin and beyond,” teased Coerver in the release. 

P. Terry’s, indeed, is on a growth spurt. In 2019, the chain opened its first restaurants outside of the Austin city limits and the growth promises to accelerate in 2020 under the helm of new CEO Todd Coerver, a former Whataburger VP who assumed the position in March 2019 after Terry stepped aside.