Torchy's Tacos Is Coming to Former Fran's on South Congress

Homegrown chain to create flagship store at former burger joint

Photo by Jana Birchum
Austinites bemoaned the loss of a 40-year-old iconic burger joint when the Junk family didn't renew a more expensive lease on the original Fran's Hamburgers location on South Congress in 2013. We've learned the rapidly expanding Torchy's Tacos chain has leased the prime SoCo property for the flagship of their next generation of restaurants.

courtesy Jamie Chioco Design
Based on our conversation with marketing director Brittany Platt, the new Torchy's at 1822 S. Congress will offer indoor and outdoor seating and a full bar in addition to an expanded menu. "This will be the prototype for our new stores going forward and it's the Torchy's we want people to see when they visit Austin," Platt said. Based on the rendering from Jamie Chioco Designs, the new spot will have some eye-catching design elements and clever signage, as well as some off-street parking, which should make it a popular SoCo dining destination.

When asked if he was concerned about putting a bigger, fancier Torchy's in such close proximity to two stores on South First, Torchy's founder Mike Rypka explained that neither the original trailer park outlet (1311 S. First) nor the old Virginia's Cafe location (2809 S. First) offers the opportunity for expansion or full bar service. "And besides, we just couldn't pass up the opportunity to be on South Congress. The location is too good," Rypka said. Rypka says they hope to have the SoCo Torchy's up and running in time for South by Southwest 2015.

In other Torchy's expansion news, the eagerly awaited new outlet in the Mueller development has gotten caught up in the backlog vortex of the city permit process and is now projected for a fall opening.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Torchy's Tacos
First Look: Torchy's Tacos Mueller
First Look: Torchy's Tacos Mueller
Neighbors line up for family dining

Virginia B. Wood, Dec. 16, 2014

More by Virginia B. Wood
Top 10 Savory Bites
Top 10 Savory Bites

Jan. 1, 2016

Open Secret
Open Secret
The not-so-hidden pleasures of dine

Dec. 25, 2015

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Torchy's Tacos, Fran's Hamburgers, SoCo, Brittany Platt, Michael Rypka, Jamie Chioco Design

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle