Bernie’s Burger Bus, the school-themed concept that started out as a school bus food truck almost a decade ago and eventually turned into four brick-and-mortar locations, has decided to close due to the financial downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
All locations, including the Heights shop at 2200 Yale St. that already had been temporarily closed, will shutter. Fans of the Burger Bus can grab one last taste at the restaurant’s flagship location in Bellaire, at 5407 Bellaire Blvd., before its last day Sunday.
“It is with a heavy heart that I have to communicate this, but with accumulating debt, decreased sales, and the rising cost of doing business, we were starting to move into the danger zone,” owner Justin Tuner said in a news release. “I was not going to be able to afford the remaining 10 of 114 staff I had left, and paying my team was more important to me than anything else.”
Turner said the choice to use working capital to fund the construction of Bernie’s recent Missouri City location proved to be fatal. He also said he plans to make a comeback to the Houston food scene at some point.
“Bernie’s has been a labor of love,” Turner said. “I’ve learned a lot the hard way but am grateful for the opportunity to learn from my mistakes and am a better businessperson because of it.”