And the word in Texas is - Smashburger

A one-third-pound Smashburger goes for $4.99. Smashburger
A one-third-pound Smashburger goes for $4.99. Smashburger Smashburger

Is there a bigger burger war looming?

Undeterred by a crowded restaurant market in hard times, David Weaver of Tyler plans to bring Smashburger, a "fast-casual" burger concept, to Fort Worth and Arlington after opening one in Longview by the end of the year.

Smashburger’s entry here, either late in the first quarter of 2010 or early in the second, follows the arrival of Jake’s from Dallas in the premium hamburger chain category. And there are rumblings of California’s In-N-Out Burger looking over the market, said Charles Wetzel, president of Buxton Co., a retail site selection consultancy.

"We often look at potential new markets, and North Texas has been part of that evaluation process," said Carl Van Fleet, In-N-Out’s vice president of planning and development.

But he said any entry would be "down the road, well down the road. It is way too early to speculate as to when, or if, we might be there."

A Smashburger is planned for Arlington off Cooper Street, another for Fort Worth north of Texas Christian University, and in two more undecided areas of Tarrant County, but no leases have been signed, said Weaver, adding that the Denver-based chain prefers strip-center corner locations rather than costlier self-standing stores.

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