Drew Gressett

Drew Gressett

For Drew Gressett, starting a successful business in his hometown was always a part of the plan. “Since high school, I’ve always wanted to have my own hamburger stand,” says the self-proclaimed burger guru. “When I travel I love finding the best burger in town.” So, it was only natural that after spending a few post-college years honing both his palate and his business skills in Washington, D.C., Dallas and China, Gressett would feel pulled back to Austin to follow his passion for patties. “I remember reading Pour Your Heart Into It about the story of Starbucks, and it was all about how if you truly have a passion for what you’re doing, the success will follow,” he says. Driven by ambition and a desire to create a community-minded hub, Gressett launched the first Hat Creek Burger Co. outpost in 2008 as a trailer along West Sixth Street. Although navigating the fast-paced hospitality industry was a learning experience, he remained undaunted, and continues to be as the business grows, by pulling inspiration from the sense of fellowship cultivated in his restaurants. “What we’re trying to establish is just a great, fun place where people can come together, feel comfortable and enjoy good food.” Gressett’s dream will really come full circle this fall with the opening of a new flagship location in his native Westlake. “Growing up, I must have driven by that corner a million times, and never once would I have thought I’d have my hamburger shop there someday. When we open it will be surreal.”

9 Questions for Drew

If you weren’t in your current career, what else would you try?
A pro golfer who gets to travel the country and play great golf courses. This is slightly unrealistic due to my playing ability, but it would be a dream come true!

If you were an inventor, what would you invent?
A 2,000 calorie pill that you could take when you were busy to get full. It would have all the real nutrients of a healthy meal. It would give you energy to run or work without having to stop and eat.

When and where are you happiest?
Hanging out with my wife Shelby and our new baby girl Lucy Bell. We would probably choose to walk at Lady Bird Lake and go eat a big breakfast at the Original Pancake House in North Austin (Austin’s best kept breakfast secret) and then go home and take a nap!

How do you measure success?
Eight great friends to carry your casket at the end of your life.

Who would you take a cross country trip with?
I would take all the guys who were in my wedding. It would be a fellowship trip for the ages — start in San Diego and six months later end up in Maine!

Where do you go in Austin to get away?
I love going biking on the Greenbelt. Although I have to walk my bike at times due to the challenge of the terrain. You feel like you’re in the middle of the mountains in Montana. Great feeling!

Who are your fantasy dinner party guests?
George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and James Baker because these guys have witnessed and been a key role in so much recent history. They are all great leaders and it would be interesting to understand how they made important decisions.

At age seven, you wanted to be?
A professional basketball player. I was all about NBA basketball! What do you never travel without? A Bible and golf clubs — two of life’s staples. If I ever got stuck out of town, I would want to have these two items!