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Daddy Ray Burgers to Open in O’Fallon in September

A local man pays tribute to his beloved grandfather, by sharing his burger recipe with O’Fallon.

O’Fallon resident Jason Boergadine remembers his grandfather as a fun-loving guy who was passionate about his family and barbecuing.

For 40-years, grandpa Ray Morris enchanted his entire family with his famous cooking. When he passed away in 2012, along with fond memories, he left his family his burger recipe.

Now to honor Ray and share a little bit of his legacy with the rest of , Jason decided to open a family-owned burger joint, featuring his grandfather’s recipe.

Daddy Ray Burgers is expected to open in early September, at 8814 Veterans Memorial Parkway.

Daddy Ray Burgers Begin

Ray Morris was born in St. Louis in 1924. He grew up in the era of the Great Depression and fought in World War II.

Upon returning from the war, he was searching for a job and answered an ad for Pet Inc., a food processing company.

Jason said with only an eighth grade education, his grandfather worked his way up through the company, starting out in the mail room and eventually becoming CEO.

“I’ve always looked up to him and admired him for that,” Jason said. “He was always about hard work and family.”

During Ray’s work in the food industry in the 1960s, he came up with a special family burger.

“We always said, this will sell,” Jason said, adding that he and his family were waiting for the right time and place to give it a try.

Jason is no stranger to the restaurant business. His mother and stepfather owned a fine dining restaurant in Lake of Ozarks while he was growing up and in 2004, the family opened and ran a dueling piano bar in California for four years.

Now the whole family is living in O’Fallon and Jason said they found the perfect spot for their burger-shack on Veterans Memorial.

Unique Burgers Aim to Please

Without giving away too much of the secret, Jason shared the three-pound patty is “a barbecued burger, without being smothered in barbecue sauce.”

“It’s truly unique,” he added, “There’s some sweetness, and it’s not just a burger thrown on grill.”

Daddy Rays will focus on to-go orders and carry-outs. There is no indoor seating, but Jason said there is a small patio outside. Eventually, the owner hopes they will branch out into deliveries.

“We’re not fast food like it’s known, we’re between that and a sit down restaurant,” he said. “We’re planning on launching with burgers, hot dogs, side items and doing daily specials.

Jason said for the first few months, the focus of Daddy Ray’s is burgers. They will eventually add more barbecue recipes to the menu, and are looking into purchasing a brick pizza oven.

Daddy Ray’s menu will also feature a bacon wrapped hot dog and specials on ribs and pork steaks.

“We’ll try to bring unique things in to mix,” Jason said. “We aim to please. If someone wants five patties we’ll do it, if they want every topping we have, we’ll do it.”

All in the O'Fallon Family

Jason said besides cooking quality food, he hopes Daddy Ray’s Burgers will be able to give back to the community.

“We were given this recipe from someone who believed so much in giving back to the community,“ Jason said.

He added that Ray was a Boy Scout leader and always donated to local charities, setting an example of helping others for the rest of the family.

“Were going to try to translate that through a great food product and anything else we can do in community,” he said. “It’s a family through and through—we love O’Fallon and plan on giving back to the community once we get going.”

Daddy Ray’s Burgers is family-owned and operated, but Jason hopes to be able to hire more employees soon.

The burger joint will cater to the lunch and early dinner crowd. Jason hopes to have it open a week or two after Labor Day.

Daddy Ray’s will be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. They are closed on Sundays.

Jason said the main goal of Daddy Ray’s Burgers, is to pay homage to his grandfather, a man he says “was a larger than life influence” to him.

“Unfortunately, he’s gone, but he lives on,” Jason said. “I look at all the things he’s done, and it’s the least I can do to keep him alive a little bit more.”

You can check out Daddy Ray’s Burgers online.

O’Fallon Patch will keep you updated on the grand opening as the information becomes available.

Carol Tayloe August 22, 2012 at 01:38 PM
I saw the building last week and was wonder about it. Thanks for the information. Will be watching for the opening.
Brian Feldt (Editor) August 22, 2012 at 01:42 PM
I love burger places like this! Count me in for trying Daddy Ray's within the first week.
Debra Tiihonen August 22, 2012 at 03:57 PM
I love a good burger. Can't wait to try Daddy Ray Burger!
Sandy K September 26, 2012 at 08:15 PM
We tried Daddy Ray's burgers today. We were there sometime after 1 p.m. There was a long line waiting for their order. They were not staffed for a first day opening and under estimated the number of people that would call or come by. We received our order after a considerably long wait and the order was not quite right as ordered. The burger was small for the large bun. The burger was delicious as well as the cheddar cheese. I order the fries extra crispy and I got them extra crispy. We try them again after the newness wears off.
Jordan Lanham September 26, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Thanks for sharing Sandy! I was planning on stopping by later today!
Jordan Lanham September 26, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Heads Up: I went by Daddy Rays at 5 p.m. and they had such a successful opening, they ran out of burgers! They'll re-open tomorrow at 11 a.m.
D.C. September 28, 2012 at 12:30 AM
They sold out early again today. Drove past the place a little after 3 p.m. and the sign out front indicated "sold out. Open Friday at 11 (A.M.). Really want to give this place a try so hopefully they will be more well-stocked in the future so I can pick up something after work.
jay September 30, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Very long wait, constantly running out of buns, burgers, service etc. It's a burger place, how hard is it to run up the street and get more? Pathetic attempt.
D.C. October 02, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Drove by here hoping to get a burger after work today and they are only open Monday-Friday from 11-3 as of today. Hope they stay open later soon because I'm sure they are missing a lot of dinner business.

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