Bryan and Darla Hampton opened the right off downtown, quaint burger joint with a lot of knowledge of the food service industry.

As soon as Hampton’s Burgers, 117 2nd St. in El Dorado, opened its doors it has been hit with a steady stream of customers looking for that homemade flavor and, of course, veal.

Bryan and Darla Hampton opened the right off downtown, quaint burger joint with a lot of knowledge of the food service industry.

Darla worked in the food service business for her parents since she was 14 years old. Her mother and father owned the infamous Toots Drive In in Howard for 18 years. The Elk County hamburger stand is still up and thriving and owned by Darla’s sister.

Hampton’s Burgers could be considered Toots West because of the amount of similarities in many aspects of the business,

“We have basically the same type of menu,” Darla said. “Hamburgers, fries, chicken, fish, salad, The only thing we added was the famous El Dorado veal.”

Instead of just heating something up from out of a bag or already prepared frozen item, Hampton’s Burgers takes the time to make its menu items by hand,

“We do a lot of our stuff homemade,” Bryan said. “Such as the chicken strips, homemade. Fish. Everything is hand breaded.”

“Pork Tenders, Chicken fried steak, everything is hand breaded,” Darla said. “We patty our hamburgers every morning. Fresh. Nothing frozen except the French fries and tater tots.”

That takes a little more work but is what the Hampton’s think will set them apart.

“I start at 7 O’ Clock every morning and don’t leave until 10 or 11 at night,” Bryan said.

“I make all the homemade pies,” Darla said. “From scratch.”

The couple started the business to spend more time together and keep the family roots in El Dorado.

“Bryan was working out of town so we just wanted something that we could do ourselves and work for ourselves,” Darla said.

Bryan was born and raised in El Dorado and wanted to bring back the old style burger stands that also sold veal that he remembered from back in the day, but wasn’t prepared for this new place to take off like it has.

“I can tell you we’re more busy than I thought we were going to be so we are working a lot harder than we thought we were going to,” Bryan said. “Which is a good thing. We are just still looking for some help too. We’re needing more experienced help. That’s hard to find.”

The location for Hampton’s Burgers is fairly small but offers outdoor seating and some seating inside the building for those looking to dine in. The purple theme of the building fits nicely for the Hamptons, who are fans of the Kansas State University Wildcats.

Inside there is seating for 10 people.

“We have the Pavillion outside, picnic tables and the cover,” Bryan said. “We’re not sure how that will go this winter when it gets cool but we’ll see what winter brings.”

We have a lot of take out and we do have a drive up window,” Darla said.

The items customers order the most at Hampton’s are no surprise to the owners.

“That is the most popular item, the veal and then the cheeseburgers,” Darla said.

The Hamptons contemplated on whether or not to sell veal and were quickly swayed by the advice of a El Dorado restaurant veteran.

“Don Duvall actually helped us out with the veals,” Bryan said. “We were debating on whether to sell veals. He was like ‘you gotta sell veals. I come down and show you how to do them.’”

The veals have drawn people from all over the region to Hampton’s Burgers.

“We have had people from Topeka, Wichita, Emporia, all over,” Darla said. “They tell us that when they had hem at Ball’s Lunch they were 5 for $1. Several years ago. Ours our 1 for $5.”

With the influx of customers at the old site of Suzie’s Chili Parlor and Coach Al’s Cheesesteaks, the Hampton’s are not planning on moving to a bigger location anytime in the near future.

“We’ve had a lot of people tell us that trying to go bigger is not always better,” Darla said. “Keep your product and your food. It’s not about the space or the seating you have, it’s the product.”