keep it trill burgers
Bun B opens first brick-and-mortar location of wildly popular Trill Burgers in Montrose
Calling all burger-obsessed Houstonians and fans of the Trill OG: The day you have been waiting for has arrived. Trill Burgers is ready to serve.
Houston hip-hop legend Bun B and his partners will open the doors on the brick and mortar location of their smash hit smash burger concept at 11 am Wednesday, June 7.
Located in the former James Coney Island at 3607 S Shepherd Dr., the restaurant will be open daily from 11 am until 9 pm for at least the next six months while it searches for a more permanent home.
The opening comes after a celebrity-studded, invite-only preview that drew the likes of Slim Thug, Andre Johnson, and Willie D.
“It’s been a hard road to get here,” Bun B tells CultureMap as he reflects on opening day. “Many things that almost no one saw or heard that almost destroyed this brand. But we persevered and pushed through it all, and today is the reward for the hard work and sacrifice.”
Announced last year, opening this new location represents the next step in Trill Burgers’ evolution. Introduced at the 2021 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, Trill Burgers has operated as a pop-up, served at events such as the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo and the Coachella festival, and been a recent addition to both Shell Energy Stadium and NRG Stadium. Despite all that success, it has not been available for lunch and dinner daily — until now.
“It’s been a dream for us, and it’s actually coming true,” Bun B said in a statement. “It’s been our sole goal to open up an establishment where we can serve you guys Trill Burgers consistently at a high level on a daily basis. And now we’re ready to do it. We are now officially open for business, ready to serve you.”
The restaurant will serve an expanded version of the core Trill Burgers menu. That starts with the OG Burger (two smashed patties that are topped with Trill Sauce, pickles, caramelized onions, and American cheese and served on a potato bun) as well as a Vegan OG Burger that’s topped with vegan cheese and vegan mayonnaise.
Operating out of a permanent kitchen will allow Trill Burgers to expand its menu with both a triple-patty cheeseburger — dubbed the Triple OG — and a single patty that will be called the Baby G (triple and single vegan burgers will also be available). Chef-partners Mike Pham and Fernando Valladares plan to introduce additional menu items in the weeks to come, according to a release. Pair them with seasoned fries and a cold Dr Pepper — the Texas-loved soda brand will be the restaurant’s exclusive fountain drink provider.
As anyone who has stood in line at a Trill Burgers pop-up or at its Rodeo stand knows, demand will likely be intense. While it wouldn’t be surprising to see a line out the door, the restaurant is doing a number of things to expedite the experience. First, it will only accept in-person orders for both dine-in and to-go.
The location’s drive-thru will remain closed for now, and it will not accept orders via third party delivery apps. In addition, it will be cashless.
“I’ve been lucky to open more than a dozen fast-casual concepts, and nothing surpasses the love I have seen for Trill Burgers,” co-founder Andy Nguyen said. “When Bun, Nick Scurfield, and I first launched this concept almost two years ago, we knew we had something special on our hands. Now it’s time to take it to the next level.”
While some of the demand stems from Bun’s celebrity — he led sold out concerts at RodeoHouston each of the past two years, has appeared on some of rap music's most legendary tracks, and has 1.3 million followers on Instagram — Trill Burgers has earned raves for serving a very tasty burger. Last year, Good Morning America named it America’s “Ultimate Burger Spot.” Earlier this year, a panel of media judges recognized it with a Gold Buckle Foodie Award at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. Trill Burgers earned 2023 CultureMap Tastemaker Award nominations for both Best Pop-Up/Start-Up and Best Burger.
Bun addressed that issue of making sure the burgers taste good on a 2022 episode of CultureMap's "What's Eric Eating" podcast.
"You can see it in every testimonial that I have [posted to social media], and these are genuine testimonials. Someone like Action Bronson, who is not only a connoisseur but a chef himself, would be more than confident enough to tell me if my burger is not good. That he said, 'good job' is a glowing review," Bun said. "I would want to know if my burger is trash. I would need to know. Sometimes you can be too close to these things."
Thousands of Houstonians will affirm that the burger is definitely not trash. Beginning today, many thousands more will have the opportunity to experience it for themselves.
And for those thousands more who will drive from far and wide to wait in line for those smash burgers, the Trill OG recommends his sizzling track “Get Throwed” as the perfect musical accompaniment and dining soundtrack.
Steven Devadanam contributed to this article.