Come Back Shack keeps the customer coming back for more
The scent of delicious burgers wafting through the air is familiar, but the building from which it emanates is looking quite different.
Last October, Back Yard Burgers on Blowing Rock Rd., a staple of premium fast food lovers, went under the butcher’s knife and reemerged as Come Back Shack.
Former patrons returned to find the building revamped, the decor changed, and the menu boards replaced. When they went to place their order at the counter or the drive-through though, they came back to many of the same favorite food items, plus a few additions.
Burgers, shakes and fries is a business Scott and Steven Prewitt know well. After nearly 20 years as franchisees of Back Yard Burgers, the brothers also know it’s a trio Boone loves well. They continue to deliver the classic meal, but now they’re doing it their own way, as an independent business.
Scott Prewitt said he and his brother started thinking about going it alone after ownership of Back Yard changed hands in 2007.
“New leadership came in and after about a year with that new leadership we just came to the conclusion that their vision and our vision - where we're going to be for the next 20 years - it was just going to diverge too much,” he said.
The Prewitts spent the next three years formulating a concept for a new restaurant. When they combined their food knowledge with the opinions of local surveys and focus groups, they arrived at the shack.
“The overall concept is a burger joint, place where you can come get a great-tasting burger or chicken sandwich, fries, drink and a milkshake in a fun, comfortable, casual atmosphere,” Prewitt said.
The idea for the Come Back Shack largely evolved from the Prewitt brothers’ experience with a specific eatery in their hometown.
“Growing up in Jackson, Mississippi, there's this old dive of a restaurant called the Mayflower Cafe that our family ate at quite a bit and it was down in the run down section of downtown Jackson and it had some of the best food I had eaten anywhere,” Scott Prewitt said.
“Out-of-this-world food” doesn’t necessarily come from places that are polished or look beautiful on the inside or the outside, Prewitt said.
That idea was translated to the Come Back Shack, whose building now features an exposed ceiling, walls with corrugated metal and and mix-and-match brick and windows and a garage door that can open to fresh air. The design is simple, homey and stylish.
Found on the menu, colorfully written on black chalkboard adorning the walls, are chicken sandwiches, hotdogs, burgers which can be dressed out in 18 items, including the restaurant’s signature Come Back Sauce, also inspired by a dressing served at the Mayflower Cafe in Jackson.
“It is a creamy, savory sauce with 8 different spices in it that give it a very distinctive flavor,” Prewitt said. “:People really love the Come Back Sauce. It's great on the sandwiches, people put it all over their fries, they'll put it on a baked potato. Come Back Sauce is good on anything.”
Prewitt said his favorite menu item is the Come Back Cheeseburger served Come Back style.
“Come Back-style is our Come Back sauce, lettuce, tomato and grilled onions,” he said. “It's awesome. Grilled onions, man, they're so good.”
Prewitt’s taste buds must be onto something, as the cheeseburger has been the most popular with Come Back Shack customers. Chicken tenders are close second.
The menu at the Come Back Shack doesn’t appear to contrast greatly from its predecessor, but there are distinct differences behind the scenes. Prewitt said his restaurant now sources local when possible. He also said, with more control over the end product, he is able to deliver a higher quality meal.
“It's designed to be fresh, homemade, no additives, made from scratch stuff,” he said. “Our burgers are hand-pattied every day, they're 100 percent ground chuck, a specific blend that we order that we think has the most flavor and makes the best burger. The chicken is all-natural. The chicken tenders are all-natural, hand breaded, never frozen.”
With comparable prices, similar menu items, more choices and superior ingredients, visitors to the Come Back Shack, both unfamiliar and patrons of the former tenant, are coming back for more.
“We've had plenty of our previous customers come and try us and like what we've done,” Prewitt said. “We've had lots of new customers as well.”
Come Back Shack, located at 1521 Blowing Rock Rd., is open Sunday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.comebackshack.com or call (828) 264-2797.