Texas Connects Us: ‘Bootsburgers'

You can get a burger anywhere, but people in Rockwall have been bragging about a special place for decades.

It's inside a beige house on the corner of Lillian Street and Austin Street.

"I could retire, but why," joked owner David Mooney. "I'm open two and a half hours a day. Why would I want to retire?"

Mooney's father opened "Bootsburgers" back in 1968.[[250783573,R,300,202]]

"When he was just a baby, he put on his daddy's boots and couldn't get them off," Mooney recalled about his dad. "They thought it was funny and they just nick-named him boots."

And when it comes to running the restaurant, Mooney does it his way.

"If you don't like the way I do things, go somewhere else," he joked. "It's my business, I think I can do whatever I want to."

David and his nephew, Russell, serve up spicy double-double's out of the same house, in the middle of what's become a growing suburban neighborhood.

"It's not much on looks, but we're not here for looks," Mooney joked. "We're down here to cook a burger."

"OMG, the smell is crazy," said neighbor Pam Dorrough. "I swear I gain five pounds on a weekly basis just by the smell."

Dorrough lives next door and just before 11 o'clock [in the morning], she watches the line start forming.

"I can see from my kitchen window," she laughed. "Got a few people walking up to the window now."

There are so many familiar faces.

"You realize 'I think I've probably ate over 3,000 Boots Burgers,'" customer John Thomas said. "And that's probably a low number."

On this day, Thomas is spreading the love.

"We're introducing my grandson, Landon, to his first Boots Burger," Thomas said. "Back in the day, you could come out here and they had picnic tables and you could eat out front and that's kinda where all the old guys would congregate in Rockwall."

But through the years, people complained.

"We had a neighbor move in two blocks down, about 12 years after the fact," Mooney added. "He didn't like it, so he went to the city council and said 'I want that place closed down.' They said, 'they're grand-fathered in, we can't close them.'"

They struck a deal: No more eating on site.

Mooney keeps it simple. His menu has three options: burgers, chips and sodas.

He considered adding french fries, once.

"I think they said 'grease trap, got to have a parking lot, you'd need a public bathroom,'" he recalled. "Just to sell french fries? Really? In other words 'forget it.'"

Remember Mooney does things his way.

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