Eats Beat

The Dragonburger is back! Johnny B’s reopens in Southlake, just in time for football

Popular high school hangout Johnny B’s Burgers and Shakes reopened this week, renewing its 15-year legacy as the home of Carroll Dragons fans and the Dragonburger.

One of the first home-owned restaurants in then-new Southlake, Johnny B’s had closed last year and was dark 18 months until new owners brought founder John Finlayson out of retirement.

It’s the same Johnny B’s, but with improvements.

The burgers are bigger. The shakes are made with real superpremium ice cream.

And Johnny B’s is also the first of the old-school homestyle burger grills to add a plant-based burger,. the Beyond Burger.

If you’ve tried the Impossible Burger, the Beyond Burger might be even better. It’s topped with lettuce, tomato and Johnny B’s house special sauce on the original, custom-baked Johnny B’s sweet-sourdough bun.

(Heck, add bacon or chili without fear. You’ve saved fat and salt from the burger.)

The regular burgers have grown 25% to a quarter-pound size and a larger bun.

If you’re not familiar with Johnny B’s burgers, they’re sort of like if Kincaid’s (nearby) used Dutch’s sweet buns.

Burger Battle 17 Johnny B's
Johnny B’s honors its Southlake locale with the Dragonburger, a jalapeño-chili triple cheeseburger Star-Telegram archives

The Dragonburger ($13.99) is a triple chili-cheeseburger with jalapenos. The chili is housemade.

The regular burger starts at $6.99 or $12.97 as a combo.

The shakes ($6.99) are premium quality. Also new: fried chicken strips ($6.99).

“When we opened out here, there was just Burger King and McDonald’s,” Finlayson said. The town still had its landmark Dairy Queen.

Now, it has Shake Shack and Hopdoddy Burger Bar, but nowhere with the local tradition and rich community connection of Johnny B’s.

New owner Naresh Worlikar has been a global restaurant executive with several locally based major companies.

“We want to maintain Johnny B’s as a community-based restaurant, full of love and serving Southlake just like always,” he said.

Johnny B’s is open for lunch daily and dinner Friday and Saturday at 2704 E. Southlake Blvd., Suite 104, near Nolen Drive; 817-749-0000,

Columnist Bud Kennedy is a Fort Worth guy who covered high school football at 16 and has moved on to two Super Bowls, seven political conventions and 15 Texas Legislature sessions. Since 1985, he has also written more than 2,000 “Eats Beat” columns about Texas dining, restaurants and food.