Burgers

Dallas burger chain closes four North Texas shops — including its only Fort Worth one

A Liberty Burger (with steakhouse onion rings and a cherry pie) at Liberty Burger in far north Fort Worth. The Fort Worth location has closed, along with three other North Texas locations.
A Liberty Burger (with steakhouse onion rings and a cherry pie) at Liberty Burger in far north Fort Worth. The Fort Worth location has closed, along with three other North Texas locations. bud@star-telegram.com

Liberty Burger, a Dallas-based chain that had one location in Fort Worth, now has zero Fort Worth locations.

The Fort Worth location, which opened in late 2016, was in the huge Presidio Junction shopping center in far north Fort Worth — a center not lacking in burger options (and that’s kind of an understatement). It closed this week.

But competition isn’t what led to the closure. In an unusual move, the chain issued a news release Thursday in which Mariel Street, the co-owner of Liberty Burger, announced that the company was severing its relationship with one franchisee.

And Fort Worth wasn’t the only location that closed. “This termination affects a single operator of four Liberty Burger locations in North Texas,” the release says. “The Star in Frisco, Las Colinas, Fort Worth and Carrollton/West Plano.” All of those non-Fort Worth locations opened after the Fort Worth one.

““Liberty Burger demands a compliance with our system standards, which is an essential component of a franchisor-franchisee relationship,” Street said in the release. “Standards are implemented to enforce consistency, they define a brand on many levels, and ultimately, are a strong contributor to the success of our company. Unlike our other franchisees, NTRD and Four Leaf Ventures did not uphold the integrity of our brand nor did they fulfill their obligations as specified in the signed franchisee contract.”

Street is the daughter of North Texas restaurant guru Gene Street (Black-Eyed Pea, Lucky’s, Good Eats, Cool River Cafe). Her family also founded Street’s Fine Chicken in Dallas.

Liberty Burger was included in the Star-Telegram’s 2017 Battle of the Burgers, in which Liberty made it to the final eight (out of a total of 32 joints) before getting defeated by Fred’s Texas Cafe, the ultimate winner.

The odds seemed against the Fort Worth location from the beginning: Despite quality burgers, Liberty Fort Worth was surrounded by other, often less expensive burger joints: a Jack in the Box opened practically in front of it, a Red Robin Gourmet Burgers was a short walk away, and even the Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom next door does pretty good burgers. Presidio Junction is also home to a Whataburger, an In-N-Out Burger and a Wendy’s.

Another Texas-based burger chain, Bryan’s Grub Burger Bar, has a location coming to Heritage Trace Parkway, in the Alliance Town Center area across I-35W from Presidio Junction. That location could open by year-end. And a location of BurgerFi, which like Liberty strives for a quality-over-quantity burger menu, opened at the beginning of October in a shopping center at the northeast corner of North Beach Street and Western Center Boulevard, also in far north Fort Worth (BurgerFi also has an Arlington location.)

Liberty Burger still has locations in Richardson, Dallas, Addison, Allen and in Jackson, Wyoming. In the release it says that it is negotiations for additional sites throughout North Texas, so it’s possible that it’s not done with Tarrant yet.

H/T Alliance/North Tarrant Area Updates Facebook page, where a post alerted us to the Fort Worth Liberty closing, which led to us finding out about the other locations.

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