Major’s Burger Company coming to Liberty Hill
By Christine Bolaños
Something major is coming to Liberty Hill and it’s not at a baseball diamond. Major’s Burger Company, a family-friendly restaurant with an outside play area, indoor and outdoor seating, spacious parking and a drive-thru window, is slated to open around May 1.
Owner Fred Hinze said the restaurant will be much more than a burger joint serving up old-fashioned homemade hamburgers that have been a family recipe for more than 50 years. Major’s will have what he refers to as “unbelievable” breakfast tacos and sandwiches, a full line of espresso, desserts galore, an assortment of spices and sauces, baked potatoes, milkshakes, smoothies, mint tea and more. The best part? It will all be made from scratch, he said.
Hinze flipped his first burger at his mother’s hamburger place when he was only 10 years old. It seemed only natural to follow in her footsteps and keep the family’s recipes going.
The native Texan moved to Washington after losing his sales job in 1999. His boss, who also happened to be his best friend, told him the place would be sold as he was battling cancer. Hinze knew he needed to find something else in the meantime. His wife and family held the fort down at their first restaurant while Hinze continued at his day job until his boss-friend passed away. By that time, he was ready to transition over full time into the restaurant industry.
“I’d been there for 15 years and I needed to do something to provide funds for the family. I was born and raised in a hamburger and barbecue place in Wharton, Texas, and my whole family is in the restaurant business,” Hinze explained.
Opening a hamburger place in Yakima, Wash., was perhaps one of the best decisions Hinze ever made.
“We came up with the idea because we felt there was a need for hamburgers in that town. They were really popular in the area and so we decided to start a mom and pop family-owned business,” he said. “My wife and I and my four daughters, together, started Major’s in Washington State.”
The first Major’s opened in a small building and proved to be a success. The Hinzes wanted to expand their business, however, and ended up selling the place to some good friends in favor of opening another location in a larger market. They opened their second location in Yakima in 2000.
“They went gang busters. People, just, I mean came in by the groves,” he said.
The Hinzes eventually had four different locations but ended up selling the first and fourth ones. Then Hinze’s mother-in-law got ill with congestive heart failure and the family knew it was time to return home to Texas. They sold the remaining two restaurants to a partner and moved back in 2007.
It’s been seven years since the Hinzes ran a hamburger restaurant but they are excited to get going again.
“We just felt there was a need in the community for another restaurant and more food in the Liberty Hill area. My daughters and sons- in-law, and my wife and I, decided as a family to just put a little family business here that all of us could participate in,” Hinze said. “My oldest daughter Christa and her husband Dan (Fried) are primary supporters of the place. Jeff, my other son-in-law, and Tiffany (Boles), my daughter, are also going to be working here.”
Hinze’s wife Diane (Hinze) will be a critical player at the restaurant and his other two daughters (Bridget and Tara), who reside in Cedar Park and San Antonio respectively, are busy with their careers but will be helping out with promotions, the website and social media.
The name “Major’s” was the idea of one of Hinze’s sister-in-law. She noted there was a popular burger joint called Miner’s (the owner’s last name) and thought it would be a good idea to have a restaurant called Major’s. Hinze compared it to Burger King and Diary Queen, for example.
“We’re actually going to call this restaurant Major’s Burger Company. So people can differentiate between the Major’s in Washington State,” he said.
But even more memorable than the name was the menu, which while similar to the Major’s in Washington, will have many different and unique items.
“We handmake everything. We handmake our patties like a lot of places do. We have our own spices for everything. We season everything really well,” Hinze shared, as the main factor that makes the restaurant stand out.
“We cook with a lot of flavor. A lot of people play it safe. They just maybe put a little bit of pepper but we don’t have a spicy product. We just have a well-seasoned product with a lot of flavor,” he said. The restaurant will specialize in old-fashioned homemade hamburgers.
“We have our homemade onion rings. One of our key items are homemade beer-battered fries, which are out of this world and we haven’t seen any in Texas. They were a big success of ours in Washington State,” Hinze said.
“We have unbelievable chicken fried tenders. We have full-on baked potatoes – pulled pork, broccoli and cheese. Homemade milkshakes,” he added.
The breakfast menu and a full espresso line will compliment the evening menu.
“We make everything from scratch. We make our own ranch dressing. We buy nothing pre-made. We roast our own coffee. We have our own roaster,” Hinze shared.
The espresso line includes mocha, lattes and granidas (which Hinze says is a frozen coffee similar to Starbucks’ Frappuccino).
“We’ll have a full line of coffee where we roast our own coffee beans every seven days,” he said. “We make our own sauces, our own fried sauce, our own ranch dressing, our own barbecue sauce. We don’t buy anything pre-made.”
In addition to the hamburgers, the biggest draw could be the desserts, he added.
“We’ll have our own coconut crème pies, chocolate crème pies, plus we make our own scones. We have a scone recipe from scratch. Our muffins are from scratch. We’ll have brownies and carrot cake,” Hinze said.
The restaurant will aim to have an assortment of 10-15 desserts available daily.
“My wife makes unbelievable fresh brewed mint tea from the old Southern days. It’s an upgrade on ice tea that I think everyone should try,” Hinze said.
Major’s also aims to please aesthetically.
“The restaurant will be very friendly, very casual. We’ll have indoor seating and some outdoor seating. A little play area for the kids and a drive-thru window,” Hinze continued. “We welcome all classes and types of folks. We feel like we’re going to have the type of atmosphere that everybody will enjoy. We’ll be closed on Sundays. We do not have liquor. We’re a family-operated business. We believe Sundays are for family, friends and church.”
Hinze hopes Major’s will add something special to Liberty Hill.
“We hope Major’s will be a landmark and a star for Liberty Hill. Because of the location on Highway 29 which goes for several miles both east and west, we hope this will become a destination not only for our local residents, which the community is really expanding as everybody knows, but also for traffic whether coming from Llano, Burnet or Taylor or wherever,” Hinze shared. “That’s going to help all businesses. They may stop for gas or visit other places. Whether it’s our place one time and Sonic the next.”
The Hinzes also plan to be involved in the school system, particularly with sports.
“We want to be a destination not only for local teams but for other teams and their families as they’re coming through and playing sports,” the grandfather of Liberty Hill ISD-enrolled grandchildren said.
Being on two acres of land also gives Major’s room for expansion in the future.
“We think Major’s will be a tremendous addition to the Liberty Hill community and give people another choice. We respect all of the people here in town. It’s not like we’re in competition with Sonic or any of the rest. We just feel the more that can be offered to the public that we all win,” Hinze explained. “We feel that with Major’s and its uniqueness because you can get a hamburger at several different locations but you can only get a Major’s burger at this location.”
The Hinzes, as well as daughters Christa and Tiffany and their families, reside in Liberty Hill.
The restaurant is slated to be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. It will be located at 14011 W. Hwy. 29.