Work Begins On First East Alabama WhataBurger Location

Staff Reporter ([email protected])
A coming soon sign announces the new WhataBurger location in Opelika on Gateway Drive.
OPELIKA, AL-The O'Charley's in Opelika closed its doors quietly late last year. However the storefront located just off of Gateway Drive in Opelika would not stay vacant long as a new six-decade old Texas eatery will make its first location in East Alabama at the former O'Charley's location.

Crews have begun demolishing the former O'Charley's location at 2501 Gateway Drive in Opelika. The property located in front of the Lowe's just off of Interstate 85 and across the road from Opelika's bustling Tiger Town Shopping Center now sits encased in fencing with signs announcing coming soon is WhataBurger.

WhataBurger is a well-known burger chain throughout parts of the country primarily in Texas. The company finds its origins dating back to 1950, when Harmon Dobson opened his small burger stand in Corpus Christi, Texas. Today the chain has grown to include more than 800 restaurants stretching from Florida to Arizona.

Crews are busy demolishing the former O'Charley's in Opelika to make way for a new WhataBurger.

WhataBurger has had a presence in Alabama for several years now with 18 operating locations. The chain is well represented throughout the Birmingham market and has recently announced a new store coming to a shopping development in East Montgomery. The new Montgomery store broke ground earlier this month and when it opens is expected to employ 125 people.

There has been no word on the number of hires the Opelika location will bring with it or plans for further WhataBurger locations in East Alabama or possibly West Georgia. The Opelika location is expected to open in the summer of 2021.

On Tuesday, crews had began gutting the former O'Charley's building to make way for the WhataBurger.