The Blog

From One Burger to a Growing Legacy: The Story of San Antonio’s Beloved Burger Concept

Tenant Spotlight: Burger Boy

From One Burger to a Growing Legacy: The Story of San Antonio’s Beloved Burger Concept

Established in 1955, it once boasted 26 thriving locations before dwindling down to just one. But it was this single location that drew the attention of a group of dedicated patrons who believed in its potential.

We sat down with Bryce Pohlmeier, one of the entrepreneurial minds behind this story of revival and expansion. He shared with us Burger Boy’s journey, challenges, and vision for the future.

Bryce, tell us a bit about the brand and how it got started.

Burger Boy has been around since 1955 here in San Antonio. And, you know, as we were frequent customers of it, we loved the product. Over the years they experienced some different difficulties where they had up to 26 locations at one time and then had gone down all the way to one. Being loyal customers of the brand we felt like it was a brand that needed to be across San Antonio. The product’s phenomenal. It’s a hot, fresh made to order burger.

How did you all get involved?

We started talking with the original owner, which was Carl Bates and the Bates family had owned it through all those years, with the intent of maybe franchising and helping him grow it across San Antonio as he was getting older.

So it’s probably about a year that we worked on it. Then finally, he said, “You know, I want to sell you the whole brand and you have two months to close the deal.” So he was ready. He was ready to retire and he gave us the opportunity to take this legacy brand that was here in San Antonio and introduce it back to San Antonio, kind of rebranded with the more modern type building and culture and deliver that same hot fresh product. So we took over January 1st of 2017.

Prior to this, myself and the two business partners, we operated Dunkin Donuts franchises here in San Antonio. We opened three of those here before we actually sold that franchise and started looking for something different. What made Burger Boy special is it’s our own brand, we can grow it and build it as we see fit.

Burger Boy's First Location

Burger Boy’s First Location

How have things gone since the acquisition?

Good in some avenues and very challenging in others.

I think we’ve learned a lot along the way, you know, in the franchise structure, you have a lot of support and help in terms of product delivery. Quite a lot goes into it every day, especially as you’re trying to be a growing and emerging concept. But the beauty of it is, we get to make the decisions.

We can make decisions today that can go into effect tomorrow. And we can quickly change things in the direction that we see fit in order to continue to build the brand and the legacy here in San Antonio.

What was the biggest challenge?

We bought it right before COVID. So there were definitely some new experiences for everybody and to be a growing chain with everything that was going on. So really, figuring out how to manage, the different aspects of the business in terms of the product coming in and supplier issues and things like that. That’s probably been one of the bigger challenges.

How many locations do you have now and where are you going?

We currently have 6 operating locations here in San Antonio and we’re kind of spread across the city. From the far West side to the Northeast, and we have 3 more in the works, 1 that will open here in the next few months and then 2 more that will open in 2024.

There’s a couple of areas in San Antonio that we’re not in, so looking to expand up to 35 corridor to San Marcos and New Braunfels as well as the surrounding Metro of San Antonio.

What do you look for in a location?

I think it’s probably like everybody else’s, right? Lots of traffic, lots of rooftops and we really want a good daytime employment population. The main thing is, we really like to be close to schools and families.

Tell us about your community involvement.

We like to align our focuses with schools, support education, feed the hungry, and support the military. A lot of our programs over the years, we do with schools. We pride ourselves a lot on that. We always strive to be more involved. Sometimes it’s just the balance between taking care of daily operations and making sure that we’re finding those opportunities to be involved.

What were one of your favorite ways you got involved?

We got the opportunity as a management team last February to go out and help Northside ISD and support them in their Special Olympics program. We went out as a management team and volunteered that day to put on the meat for the Special Olympics. It was a good thing that we’ll continue to do year after year, just because it’s important to us.

Tell us about the milkshakes and the rotation of flavors, how did that come about?

We get asked that all the time. There’s a group of 4 or 5 of us that we’re constantly tossing around ideas. And in fact, we just, we just left a meeting where we’re tossing around ideas. It’s getting harder and harder to come up with good ideas but some of it’s listening to customers. Sometimes they have great ideas.

And then, you know, I think one of the biggest things is, I think you go back to being a kid. So you think of all these things that were great as a kid and, how can we bring that back and replicate that in today’s world and hopefully have some kind of nostalgia. Our brand’s nostalgic already, but how can these shakes be kind of nostalgic too?

It takes you back to being a kid. One of our most successful ones has been the fruity pebbles. Who didn’t eat fruity pebbles growing up? And you get to share that with the kids and say this is what we used to do as a kid.

And then, I think it was 2019, we started our shake of the month program where we started to do a different shake every month. It’s really been very successful. I mean, to be honest, I think our shake following started rivaling our burger following. People look forward to our shakes. People look forward to the excitement of what, what next month’s shake’s going to be.

What is your personal favorite?

Oh man, that’s a tough one. I probably have to say the peppermint chocolate chip. So that was our first seasonal shake that we did.

What do you look forward to for Burger Boy?

We love being a part of San Antonio and its culture and we’re continuing to develop the brand across the city and make it a consistent brand that the San Antonio people can continue to count on as our go to burger place.

Subscribe for updates in your inbox
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
About the Author
Alexandria Tatem joined Foresite as an Investment Sales Associate and was quickly promoted to include Head of Research as one of her roles in addition to sales. She has a talent for sourcing data and compiling information in challenging markets. Alex is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas, where she double-majored in Finance and Spanish. In college, Alexandria worked for the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics where she compiled data into clear and detailed reports. Her research has been used in testimonies to the state legislature, year-long studies, published reports, and informational booklets that were handed out to legislators. Alex is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, Urban Land Institute of San Antonio, and CREW San Antonio.

Contact Us

We'd love to talk. Call or email via the links below, or complete the form.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.