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The SCENE Magazine

Historic Tookie’s Relocating to Kemah this month

Jan 16, 2018 08:10PM
Since 1975, Tookie’s Hamburgers has been serving legendary burgers, onion rings, milkshakes and more from the same location, time and again earning its reputation as one of the top burger spots in the nation — so much so, that it was even featured in the special “Burger Land” TV show on the Travel Channel in recent years.

Expansions and updates have been inevitable, however. In 2008, Hurricane Ike poured 5 feet of Galveston Bay water into the restaurant, and the original owners decided not to reopen. It was then that local restaurateur Barry Terrell breathed new life into the iconic Seabrook eatery, vowing to keep as much of the original recipes, charm and nostalgia that locals and visitors have come to love. 

Though Hurricane Harvey couldn’t even keep the iconic spot down, expansions along Highway 146 (along with Seabrook ordinances which state that businesses must be 30 feet from the road) will see Tookie’s Hamburgers in Seabrook closing the doors to their one and only historic location for the last time in January. 

Terrell said the move out of their original location and into Kemah is not something they wanted, but will still have to move just like many other businesses along this strip due to the Hwy. 146 Expansion Project slated to start construction in August 2018.  

“We don’t know what day we’ll open in Kemah, but we have to be out by the end of January,” he commented at press time.  Terrell also explained that they will be closed for about a week, and then reopen the doors to the new location (a spot formerly home to Ichibon’s).

“We wanted to find a restaurant spot as close to our current location as possible,” said General Manager Lynda Hamilton. And rest assured those familiar with Tookie’s, the restaurant will retain that familiarity of their trademark style and décor — the outside of the building has been repainted green and yellow to match the original Tookie’s location, and the owners are in the process of duplicating as much of the charm they are known for as they can.
Owner Barry Terrell prior to Tookie’s reopening following Hurricane Ike.

“We’ll be bringing over all the memorabilia; we’re even installing cedar plank ceilings here, like we have in Seabrook,” Terrell said. “We’re excited about the larger footprint and a more spacious bar, and we’ll be building an even bigger patio with a marina view.”

So if you love the original location – or you’ve never been – now’s your chance to visit and wish Tookie’s Hamburgers well on their move before they close the doors to the original Seabrook location for good. Stay tuned to the SCENE for updates!