Kristi Spurlock Perez’s love of the vintage goes beyond hanging pictures on her malt shop walls.
When she takes phone orders, they come through the lacquered pink replica Crosley telephone hanging in the front.
Her staff clocks in for a shift using the old green punch card stamper in the back, and the business specialty, the Super Dogs, feature a homemade batter made from a special milled flour, she says. The flour recipe has been top secret for years.
This is what makes Spurlock’s Malt Shop, the local stop for burgers, malts, fries and more in Anna Texas.
The shop is a continuation of the business Kristi’s grandparents opened in 1951, then called “Spurlock’s Super Dog Drive-In” in Lamesa, Texas.
“I spent a lot of time with my grandparents,” Kristi says. “It just kind of grew on me. I think I was born in the wrong era.”
Even the modern world is a stage to her passion—her cell phone plays the I Love Lucy theme song when someone calls her, and the ’50s hits playing over the shop sound system come from her playlists.
The building that houses Spurlock’s Malt Shop was originally used as a malt shop. It was built around 1958, she says, and underwent multiple phases over the years featuring barbecue, doughnuts and burgers. Though it went through those transformations, the sign outside announcing the malt shop never moved.
When she and her husband, Michael, opened at the building in 2012, they tried to bring it back to its original purpose.
“Everybody just kind of latched on to that and was so happy to have the old burger joint back,” she says.
Today, new and familiar faces alike approach Spurlock’s shop window and give their orders, she says. An Elvis hit may play overhead as customers wait for their food, but inside the small space, workers rush to mix malts, cook burgers and fry the Super Dogs.
For Kristi, reaching back to how the original shop used to be run comes down to both food and service. That means no ready-made food placed under heat lamps, she says. It also means knowing customers by name, being open to special orders and holding on to homemade recipes.
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“Just that old-school feel,” she says.
That doesn’t stay in the kitchen. It’s also in the dining room, painted pink—Kristi’s favorite color. The room features a black and white tiled floor and signs, cutouts and curtains reaching back to the 1950s.
As Anna continues to grow, Kristi considers adding locations. Some expansions at the original location are a possibility, too, for Spurlock’s.
“Every day we see new faces, and those faces will come back and see us and learn who we are, and I think we’ll just continue from there,” she says.