Lifelong Lexington family fulfills their dream by opening unique burger joint with an old time feel
Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) – For several members of the Rackus family of Lexington, they’d always dreamed of opening their own restaurant. The father John had worked in the food service business his entire life. He’d done stints at places that served Italian, burgers, steaks, and more. He had also managed some hotels for others as well. The Rackus wife and mom, Marie, was already involved in another family owned business, but has always been supportive of her husband’s desire to do his own thing with food. Now, Marie has thrown her support behind her husband and his new venture. She believes he has the talents to make it in a tough business.
The couple’s son Thomas apparently was infected with the food bug too. While a student at White Knoll High School, he worked at Libby’s on Main Street in Lexington where he learned the business from the bottom up. After Thomas graduated high school, he studied and graduated from USC with a degree in Business Management and Marketing. Once Thomas graduated, it just seemed to the family that the time was right to for them to come together and do something they’ve always wanted to do on their own. John and Thomas decided they'd open their own place, but they wanted it to be the right place.
John said that when they started brainstorming they knew they wanted something different; something Lexington had never experienced before. Thomas and John began browsing franchises, but it seemed as if most concepts had been done time and again. Then one day, father and son stumbled across a small restaurant chain called Wayback Burger. It looked interesting and certainly unique; so the pair decided to check it out a little closer.
According to Wikipedia, Wayback Burgers, previously known as Jake's Wayback Burgers, is an American fast casual restaurant chain based in Cheshire, Connecticut. Wayback serves typical hamburger restaurant foods such as hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, handspun milkshakes, and salads along with a variety of regional selections. The thing is, they do this in the tradition of an old-time diner like the ones your parents may have visited way back when.
At Wayback Burger, the food is fresh and never frozen. They use fresh beef that’s hand patted in the store. Once it’s put on a flat top, it’s mashed with a spatula to give it that diner look and taste that’s oh so good. You can order them with one, two, three or more patties, and then you can build it any way you like it. There’re five types of cheese available and traditional toppings like lettuce, onion, pickles, tomatoes, or mushrooms. These are built on a sturdy yet soft roll that can stand up to a burger like this. For the real eater in your group, there’s a thing called the triple-triple that has nine patties and stands about a foot tall off your plate! Of course, they have fries, a house made chip- like raw fries, and tater tots that can be ordered with cheese and lots of other gooey great stuff. The true test of an eatery in the south is their sweet tea. Even though the chain started up north, this is no Yankee tea. No siree, it’s as good as it gets anywhere in the south!
Wayback Burger’s dining room has that traditional 50’s diner feel with lots of gleaming chrome. It also has an open serving shelf to pass through from the kitchen for that real “order up” experience. They play with the lighting at different degrees of brightness which makes for great accents throughout. There are stools at a “lunch counter” and tables with comfortable chairs spaced apart so you don’t feel crowded. Above all, the entire dining area is squeaky clean. Probably the neatest thing in the whole place is a Wayback clock that runs backward to some time in the past; Wayback, get it?
Now, John or Thomas are at the store anytime the doors are open. Much of the time you'll find both. They're making sure that things are going just right. Marie wasn't going to let these two go it alone so she works all day in their other business, and then gets over to the new restaurant where she is doing anything that needs to be done to help make it a success. The two Rackus men says she'll do everything she possibly can and wants absolutely no credit for any of the contributions she's making at Wayback.
Wayback is located at 5230 Sunset Blvd. Suite A, Lexington, SC in the plaza with Lowe’s Foods. It has a nice corner suite that’s easy to find on the left as you are enter from Sunset. It’s really worth a visit, even if it’s just to show your children how things were way back when. There hours are seven days a week from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. or you can call them at 803-785-1007.