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New restaurants coming, changing in South Hall
01292020 FOOD 1
Stephen McGruder hopes to open his new burger joint, On The Go Burgers and Shakes, in the next couple of weeks. - photo by Layne Saliba

Stephen McGruder hopes to open his new burger joint, On The Go Burgers and Shakes, in the next couple of weeks.

The spot he’s rented was purpose-built for a quick-hit burger shop -- because it was the old Checkers off of Wallis Road in Flowery Branch. He’s kept the original restaurant’s look with the small kitchen, double drive-thru and even left the checkered tables outside for those who want to “dine in.” The Checkers sign easily spotted from Interstate 985 still towers overhead, too.

Don’t expect anything you’d see on Food Network at On the Go, though.

“It’s fresh ground beef, but they are by no stretch gourmet burgers,” McGruder said. “It’s going to be affordable and something you can get for lunch.”

After going out to lunch in the area a while back, he was disappointed when he picked up a burger from one of the fast-food chains, so he set out to change it.

“It’s not a gourmet burger,” he said of what his restaurant will serve. “It’s just a real, good burger.”

He’ll have single-, double- and triple-patty burgers along with hot dogs, chicken fingers and chicken sandwiches.

There’s one item on the menu you might not expect when you hear the name of the restaurant. As a 22-year veteran of the Air Force, McGruder said he used to get the sandwich all the time when he was stationed near Philadelphia.

“Me and my family, we used to go up to Philadelphia to get a cheesesteak,” McGruder said. “So although we are On the Go Burgers & Shakes, we're also going to have cheesesteaks.”

And to satisfy your sweet tooth, he’ll be serving Mayfield ice cream.

While he plans on opening the restaurant in the next two weeks, he’s planning a grand opening for late March.

Taco’s Tacos

This new taco shop’s address is technically in Buford, but it’s located in that weird Flow-braselt-uford stretch of Hall County. On Hancock Drive, next to the new JAX Fine Wine & Spirits and tucked behind the Kroger shopping center, Taco’s Tacos is serving the real deal street tacos — hitting a different market than the Taco Bell across the street.

The menu includes tacos, tortas, gorditas, quesadillas and nachos. On Saturdays and Sundays, they offer menudo — a traditional Mexican soup — and tamales. And according to an owner’s response on a Google review, Taco’s Tacos will soon have chips and salsa on the menu.

Nichols Diner

The diner in Flowery Branch is somewhat of an institution. It’s been around for more than a decade, but has gone through some changes in recent weeks. It’s under new ownership, but has stayed in the Nichols family with Alan Nichols taking over from his brother Craig. 

They’ve also renovated the whole place. The old chairs, tables and booths have been replaced with new ones, the walls have gotten some fresh paint and the carpet has been replaced. They even made some changes to the items on their menu and upgraded how the menu is displayed. They’re fully electronic and displayed on TVs now. The diner was closed for a bit while renovations were going on, but it’s back up and running.

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