Clark Cooper Concepts wants to bring a little summer fun to Houston. With its Buffalo Bayou property, The Dunlavy, closed to events during the coronavirus pandemic, the company has opted to utilize the space to test a new concept it’s calling Daddy’s Burgers.
Inspired by the burgers that Clark Cooper co-owner Grant Cooper makes for his daughter Gjelina and his son Caymus, Daddy’s Burgers features burgers made with grass-fed beef patties, plus tater tots, milkshakes, cold beer, and more. The pop-up will occupy The Dunlavy until Labor Day.
“Daddy’s Burgers is summertime fun,” Cooper tells CultureMap. It’s kind of like fourth of July everyday. It’s what you should be doing in the summer. It has a Venice Beach, California, skateboard vibe.”
The signature Daddy’s Burger features a grass-fed patty with an 80-20 lean-to-fat ratio that has finely diced onions mixed in with the beef. It’s seasoned with a spice blend that uses 12 ingredients, topped with American cheese, caramelized onions, and pickles, and served on a potato bun. Cooper recommends the spicy sauce that gets its heat from Fresno chile peppers.
“You gotta go with the double,” Cooper says about his preferred way to order a Daddy’s Burger. “I think the double is the perfect amount.”
The menu also includes chicken sandwiches — grilled or fried. Cooper recommends the fried sandwich topped with vinegar slaw, jalapeños, and spicy sauce.
A “Classic Burger” made without the onions or spice blend, a veggie burger that uses the plant-based Beyond patty, and a chopped salad made with romaine lettuce and Napa cabbage round out the menu’s entree options. On the weekends, the restaurant serves breakfast tacos and beignets.
Sides include fries, onion rings, and tater tots with milkshakes and chocolate chip cookie-ice cream sandwiches for dessert. In addition to cold beer served in frosted mugs, the beverage choices include cocktails and wines by-the-glass or bottle.
“We’ve always wanted to do a burger concept,” Cooper says. “This gives up the opportunity to do something. I think it gets our staff excited.”
Opening Daddy’s Burgers also gives the staff something to do at a time when dining rooms are limited to 50-percent capacity, and the company's other plans for growth are on-hold. Cooper says that the company’s plans to open Satisfy, a new healthy-eating restaurant, has been delayed due to the coronavirus.
“We’re just trying to survive,” Cooper says. “At the end of the day, when you’re losing 50-percent of sales, you’re losing 50-percent of sales. It’s tough. It’s not sustainable.”
While eating burgers and tots under The Dunlavy’s chandeliers may feel a little strange, Cooper is feeling optimistic about the concept’s prospects.
“Burgers, fries, shakes, cold beer, and good cocktails, you can’t go wrong with that,” he says.
Daddy’s Burgers; 3422 Allen Pkwy.; Monday - Thursday 11 am - 8 pm, Friday 11 am - 9 pm; Saturday 9 am - 9 pm, and Sunday 9 am - 8 pm; 713-360-6477