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Burger Stop’s new owners keep its car-themed cuisine

By Valerie Phillips - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Sep 27, 2023
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Burger Stop’s new owners, from left, are Brent Wright, Karen Wright, Andrew Wright and Nik Wright.
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The bacon cheeseburger is the top seller at Burger Stop in Layton.
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Popular Burger Stop items include a Philly cheesesteak sandwich, turkey bacon avocado sandwich and onion rings, served with the restaurant’s new “Burnout” sauce.

When a classic car is purring along smoothly, there’s no need for an overhaul.

It’s the same case for the Burger Stop in Layton, which celebrates classics, both in cars and cuisine.

After 30 years in business, the restaurant changed hands last April.

The new owners, the Wright family, kept the 1950s retro decor, the oldies background music, the hefty burgers and luscious shakes, even the monthly “Cruise Night” classic car shows.

In fact, the restaurant’s latest Cruise Night takes place Wednesday from 6-9 p.m. hosted by JC Hackett and Wasatch Rods & Customs.

“We want to continue on this legacy to serve Layton for the next 30 years,” said Andrew Wright, a partner with his brother, Nik Wright, and their parents, Karen and Brent Wright.

The building originally opened in the 1970s as one of the Utah-based Dee’s Hamburger Drive-Ins. After Dee’s closed its drive-ins, the building was leased by a Hardee’s fast food franchise in the late ’80s.

In 1993, Mark and Deanna Theobald opened it as Burger Stop. When it came time to retire, “They wanted to sell it to a family who would keep it as a family-run business,” said Karen Wright.

At the same time, the Wright family was seeking a restaurant to run together. Brent had been a locomotive engineer with Union Pacific Railroad, and worked 10 years at Tony’s Pizza in Ogden. Karen had worked at Hill Air Force Base, as did Andrew, who has a master’s degree in business. Nik graduated from the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale, Arizona, and worked in the restaurant/food industry.

“This has always been a dream of ours, to own a restaurant as a family, so we decided to chase the dream,” Andrew Wright said.

Instead of starting a new restaurant from scratch, “We wanted to mitigate some of the risk with a legacy restaurant that has a built-in fan base,” added Nik Wright.

So far, so good. “Layton is very supportive of small businesses,” Brent Wright said. “This community goes out of their way to support them.”

“I’ve been most surprised that whenever we update our signs that we’re running a special, such as lemon freezes, the public really responds and comes in for them,” said Nik Wright. “When we put out an announcement about our Flat Tire Breakfast Burrito, a guy came in and said he’d been coming here for years, but had no idea we served breakfast.”

The Wrights have continued with the Burger Stop’s policy of getting its meat and bread delivered fresh every day, said Andrew Wright, adding that the restaurant uses local vendors such as Farr’s ice cream.

The bacon cheeseburger is the top-seller on the menu. It’s a 1/3-pound patty topped with bacon, cheese, tomato, lettuce and “Cruiser sauce,” the restaurant’s version of fry sauce.

Pastrami burgers are a uniquely Utah thing, and “I would put ours up against anybody else’s pastrami burger. It’s really good,” said Andrew Wright.

There are a dozen different sandwiches, including the Philly cheesesteak, with steak strips, Swiss cheese, green peppers and grilled onions on a hoagie roll.

Karen Wright’s favorite is the turkey bacon avocado sandwich, which comes with a choice of white, wheat or a hoagie roll.

The top-selling breakfast item is the meaty Flat Tire Breakfast Burrito, stuffed with ham, bacon, sausage, eggs, hash browns and cheddar.

“We have a full breakfast menu, with omelets and pancakes, and we sell quite a few scones,” said Karen Wright.

The Big Block Breakfast Burger is a burger topped with a fried egg, so theoretically, you could have breakfast and lunch at the same time.

The Wrights are continuing the legendary Deuce Challenge. It’s a monster of a burger — a stack of six 1/3-pound patties. Those who can eat it within 30 minutes get a T-shirt and their picture taken, “and then we drive you to the hospital,” quipped Nik Wright.

Menu tinkering has been minor. Chicken wings — known as Hot Rod Wings — were added. Nik and Andrew created a riff on fry sauce with a smoky barbecue flavor. Called “Burnout” sauce, “It’s been a hit,” said Andrew Wright.

With Layton High School just a block away, students are a big part of the lunch rush. The family installed a self-ordering kiosk, “so kids can skip the line and pay at the kiosk. It helps us move them though quicker,” Nik Wright said.

The Wrights are also expanding their catering operations, including running a concession during last summer’s Ogden Twilight concert series.

There also may be more Burger Stops in the future, teased Nik Wright. “We are actively planning for number two,” he said.


Burger Stop

Location: 323 E. Gentile St., Layton

Contact: 801-544-8090; https://www.burgerstoplayton.com

Prices: $6-$12 (burgers and sandwiches)

Hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Friday; 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday


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