Gregory may not offer much in the way of restaurants, but the city is on the cusp of a renaissance as industry blossoms around them, setting the stage for a ton of growth already on the horizon.
But when people drive north through Gregory on US Highway 181, on the right they might see a city landmark in the making.
It’s pretty hard to miss Sarcastic Susie’s, a new restaurant that now features a statue of the Big Boy Burgers mascot on the corner, along with brightly painted surfboards, skateboards, license plate wrapped light posts, tiki heads – you name it and you’ll probably find it there.
Oh yea, and they sell krappy food, too.
The new must-stop spot is the brain child of owner Mike Arevalo. His wife, Angela, takes the orders, serves the food and dons a shirt that reads “I’m not Susie” because everyone assumes she’s the outdoor restaurant’s namesake.
“This has been my husband’s dream for many years,” A. Arevalo said. “His dream was to retire and for us just to enjoy life here and help the community and just bring a family oriented business to Gregory.
“We named it Sarcastic Susie’s after my husband’s mom. The sarcasm also comes from his side of the family,” she laughed. “We just thought we’d have fun with the name.”
So what made them decide to open a restaurant during a pandemic?
“Well, since we’re actually an outdoor facility it’s basically call or walk up and order place which basically everyone’s doing anyway,” A. Arevalo added. “They’re ordering online or calling in an order, picking it up and driving off or eating outdoors.
“We just figured, well, let’s give it a shot, take a leap of faith, leave it in the Lord’s hands and just go for it. That’s what we did and thank the Lord we’re doing well. Every week it’s picking up and has gotten better and better.”
She said, “There’s a little sarcasm is our menu”, hence items like krappy burgers, krappy chilli dogs, krappy pulled pork, krappy chopped barbecue burgers and krappy kid’s meals. Their entire menu is pretty much full of homemade krappy items including a krappy boogie board sandwich which is made with fried bologna.
Yes, fried bologna.
“People come in here and say, ‘What! You have fried Bologna!’ and I say yea, we’re old school,” she laughed. “We have fun here.”
M. Arevalo said that they also keep the prices low – $6 burger combos, $3 kid’s meals – to help out a community dealing with a pandemic and allowing them to have a good, homemade meal without breaking the bank.
“I had a single mother with four kids come here and thank us because she could afford take her kids out and have a good time with good food,” M. Arevelo said. “And that’s why we’re here. This is what we do.”
M. Arevelo is retired wedding photographer and painter so he used his talents to decorate the place which definitely stands out.
“I give my husband all the credit for this and I’m proud to say I’m his wife,” A. Arevelo said. “I’m very proud of his talents, he’s very artistic. Like I said, all of this was his idea and I’m just here supporting him and I’m by his side 100 percent. We built this together.”
She said that he painted all the surf boards, buildings and especially the wildest handicap parking spot possibly in all of South Texas.
A. Arevelo also said that when people come and sit out outside to eat, they’re transported to a better place and the world around them falls away and they begin to relax and enjoy the outdoors even if only for half an hour.
Anyone interested in checking out the menu, decor or to read some funny stories about the decor can visit facebook.com/sarcastic-susie’s or instagram.com/sarcasticsusies. They are locates at 300 US Highway 181 North in Gregory.
The couple also said that once the pandemic restrictions are lifted and people can move around freely they want to have live music, movie nights and other events.
One thing is for sure, there’s no place like Sarcastic Susie’s for miles.
“We’re here to stay,” A. Arevelo said. “We have affordable prices to help out the community and the surrounding areas. We just want to make it family oriented and give people a place to enjoy a nice affordable homemade burger.
“A krappy burger.”