A longtime Copperas Cove restaurant closed its doors last week, but several eateries are getting ready to take its place.

Mel’s burgers, a mom-and-pop business operating for almost 13 years in the city, is scheduled to have an auction of its restaurant equipment and decor Saturday.

The once-popular hamburger joint was for sale for at least a year before the owners, Don and Melinda Steele, finally closed the door.

5 new restaurants

While they won’t be serving up the same menu as Mel’s, at least five other restaurants will open their doors in the city soon.

Among them are Five Brothers BBQ, looking to open March 16 in the Frontier Plaza, 175 W. U.S. Highway 190, Suite 4.

The restaurant takes its name from a close-knit group of friends who call themselves the urban family, three of whom are partners in the business, said owner Michael Reick.

“There are five brothers and five sisters in the urban family,” Reick said. “They are the people we chose to be in our family. The people who take care of each other every day.”

Reick, a former Copperas Cove graduate, is running the eatery with Barry Sheffield Jr., a former Ellison High graduate; the third partner wished to remain unnamed.

“We are going to try and keep the menu simple,” Reick said. The smoked meats will follow traditional Central Texas styles of cooking with indirect heating and dry rubs, he said.

“The focus is on the meat,” Sheffield said. “A lot of the places you go, you hear they have really good sauces.”

Other menu items include bourbon baked beans, bourbon pecan pie and the restaurant’s bourbon sauce, he said.

Location, location, location

Five Brothers is in a good location because the building is the right size and there is plenty of traffic on U.S. Highway 190, Reick said.

“The Copperas Cove market is ripe for a good barbecue restaurant,” he said, noting people still drive to Austin or Belton for the food.

Pam’s Place, with a planned opening of Feb. 3 in the Cove Terrace shopping center, also will offer up a speciality menu item that isn’t a restaurant’s mainstay in Copperas Cove.

The brother and sister team, Jamie Farrington and Pam Spartlen, are specializing in catfish.

“It is a special recipe, and the recipe has been handed down,” Spartlen said. “People won’t be disappointed.”

‘Sense of community’

While neither one of the two Pam’s Place owners live in Copperas Cove, the city is what they call home.

Coming from an Army family, they both went to school in Cove, and their father eventually retired in the city.

“We lived in Copperas Cove when there was only two red lights,” Spartlen said.

For the Five Brothers owners, Cove’s community also made their site attractive.

“I love Cove,” Sheffield said. “I would rather be here because there is such a sense of community.”

Other eateries opening in the city in the near future are Chick-fil-A, opening Feb. 20 at 202 Robert Griffin III Blvd.; C & H Hawaiian Grill, which is expanding its operations to the city; and Yaghi’s New York Style Pizzeria, which will open in the Five Hills shopping center.

Opening dates for Yaghi’s and C & H were not available.

Contact Mason W. Canales at ​mcanales@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7474

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