Familiar burger brand pulls into Ashland

The Fuddruckers taking shape at the TA Travel Center. Photo by Michael Thompson.

The Fuddruckers taking shape at the TA Travel Center. Photo by Michael Thompson.

A national burger chain is making its return to the Richmond market after exiting the area five years ago.

A Fuddruckers franchise of is set to open March 30 inside the TA TravelCenter truck stop at 100 N. Carter Road in Ashland.

TravelCenters of America spokesperson Tom Liutkus said it’s the second Fuddruckers the company has bought, joining another location in Georgia set to open on Feb. 12.

“It’s a popular brand,” Liutkus said. “It’s been growing.”

Fuddruckers touts itself as home to the “World’s Greatest Hamburgers” with meat that is never frozen. The restaurant previously had a West End location at 8205 W. Broad St. that closed in 2010. That property today is home to a Buz and Ned’s.

Fuddruckers, which is owned by Houston, Texas-based cafeteria chain Luby’s Inc., began operations in 1983 and has grown to include 237 locations in 11 countries. Of those locations, 114 are franchises. Fuddruckers was sold to Luby’s in 2010, following a bankruptcy filing of its former parent company.

According to its website, a Fuddruckers franchise requires a capital investment of $400,000.

TravelCenters of America, a publicly traded company that owns the TA TravelCenter brand, owns more than 200 restaurant franchises inside its truck stops, including Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Popeyes and Burger King. In November, the Ohio-based company announced it was acquiring Quaker Steak & Lube and its assets for $25 million.

Liutkus said TravelCenter of America likes to offer different food franchises at its travel centers so customers don’t get bored by a lack of variety. The company caters to truck drivers and also serves prepared and made-to-order food of its own.

The Carter Road TA TravelCenter is undergoing renovations on its interior and exterior. Liutkus would not say how much the work is costing or how it is being financed.

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