Burger fans are delighted in Thursday’s announcement by Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite of the opening of a Whataburger restaurant in the city.
The popular fast-food chain is making its first return appearance in the Mid-South, having had stores in the Memphis area that later closed.
Musselwhite said Whataburger has plans to fill the spot vacated when the TGIFriday’s location on Goodman Road closed.
“Whataburger is demolishing the old TGIFridays building on Goodman Road just east of Airways and building a new building,” Musselwhite said in a Facebook post. “Completion and opening is projected in late 2021.”
Whataburger started in Texas and has been a very popular franchise in the South. It is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. The first Whataburger restaurant started in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1950.
There are more than 800 locations in the franchise. Whataburger currently has seven locations, including Ridgeland, Richland, Flowood, and Vicksburg, in Mississippi. At one time there were Whataburger locations in Memphis, but they have been closed for a number of years.
In his announcement, Musselwhite spoke about the growth of development in Mississippi’s third-largest city that helped attract Whataburger to Southaven.
“Our city is experiencing tremendous economic success with a healthy mix of new industrial, retail/service, medical professional, office, and mixed-use developments right now,” Musselwhite said. “We have several hundred million dollars in new developments pending right now, but nothing makes our people happier than their favorite restaurant!”
Friday afternoon, Whataburger corporate communications did issue a statement confirming the restaurant’s impending appearance in Southaven.
“It’s true. Whataburger will be bringing our iconic burgers and exceptional customer service to Southaven! We hope our Memphis-area fans are as excited as we are. We’ll have more information to share soon,” the statement read.