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Bootsburgers: Boasting unbeatable burgers

Family-run ‘Bootsburgers’ stands test of time

(ROCKWALL, TX – June 5, 2017) The savory scent of hamburgers on the grill which surrounds the residences on Austin Street is a telltale sign one has landed in the location of the unassuming yet famous local establishment known as Bootsburgers.

Owner David Mooney and his nephew Russell Mooney operate Bootsburgers (701 Austin St.) out of a pale-colored building that looks just like a residence, one that’s home to what many might call the best burgers in town and possibly, North Texas.

“We make our burgers the way they should be made,” David said.

Clarence “Boots” Mooney, David’s father, started the restaurant with his wife, Christine, back in the early 1950s. He worked for Ford Motor Company for 18 years, and had Bootsburgers as a side business until he retired and started running the business full time in the late ‘60s. Charlie’s Chili, located next door to Ace Hardware at 1011 S Goliad St., has been supplying Bootsburgers with all their meat, cheese, vegetables, and paper products since David’s father started the business.

So what makes a Bootsburger different from other restaurants’ burgers? “I got a cast iron griddle which makes the meat taste a little different from everybody else’s,” David said. “Most restaurants now use stainless steel, and it just don’t have the same taste. I’ll put the bun on the griddle to warm it, and right before I take it off will I’ll throw a little grease on top with a spatula.”

They keep their burgers cheap at just $2, or $5 for the ever-popular Double Double (double meat, double cheese).

David, who lives in his old childhood home behind Bootsburgers along with his 90-year-old mother, has been running the business for the past 22 years. He was working for Halliburton one day when his mother called him and asked if he would like to take over Bootsburgers, to which he happily obliged. She ran it with David until she was about 75 years old and told him she just couldn’t do it anymore.

“Back when I was young I used to wish I could run this place because you see a lot of people you wouldn’t see any other way. Later on in life it fell in my lap and I said, hey, I’m gonna stay,” David said.

Bootsburgers opens at 11 a.m. five days a week (closed Sundays and Mondays) and stays open until they run out of meat, which doesn’t take long on the weekends when David said they’re at their busiest.

“In the summer we’re pretty busy during the day because all the kids are out of school. Fridays and Saturdays are our busiest days; we just can’t keep up,” David said.

The two cook upwards of 50 pounds of meat on any given Saturday, around 200-225 patties in just a couple of hours.

“It’s pretty normal for people to come up here and ask for 30 double cheeseburgers or 20 double-doubles. We tell them okay but you’ll have to wait a while. You get that far behind it takes a spell to do it,” David said.

Bootsburgers has attracted people from all over the world, according to David, including Israel, Germany and Africa. But it gets most of its business from the locals here in Rockwall who come to the burger joint so often, David and Russell know the customer by the car he or she drives.

“We’ve got people that come so often we know what they eat. We know what they drive, so when we see them coming down the street we go ahead and cook it,” David said.

Story and photo by Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News.

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