When Wes’s Burger Shack & More burned in 2014, owner Wes Teeter didn’t blame anyone. He didn’t say, “Lord, why me?” Instead he said, “Lord, why not?”
The interior the of Temple restaurant he owned for five years with his wife, Windy, was gutted by flames after a faulty electrical repair. But he considers himself a blessed man and said the community rallied to help him. One business owner even offered him the use of his building as a restaurant until Teeter could get his establishment back up and running.
“It made me a stronger Christian, a stronger man,” he said. “It makes you realize what’s here today may not be here tomorrow.”
A little over a year ago, Wes’s Burger Shack & More rose from the ashes on Main Street and reopened as the Hometown Diner. Teeter restored the upper outdoor front façade of the building to its original early 1900s design; inside a painted Texas flag covers the entire corrugated metal ceiling; café tables and chairs fill the center of the room and well-used booths line the wall.
“Six months after the fire, I decided to rebuild,” Teeter said. “I can help people. Since I rebuilt, it allows me to give back to community.”
“I’m so glad he did this,” Windy Teeter said. “It’s his passion. This is what he loves to do.”
Teeter said he grew up in the 800 block of Main Street and considers this location his neighborhood. His diner sits across the street from the old two-story Woolworth’s that is now a parking lot, but retains the front façade of the building.
Teeter started working in the restaurant business when he was 15. He opened his first place in Heidenheimer in 2004. Five years later, he moved to the current location on Main Street in Temple.
The Hometown Diner is open Tuesday through Saturday from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m. and Teeter said he serves around 120 patrons every day. It’s not unusual, he said, for people to be lined up outside before he opens.
Hungry diners can choose fresh, made-to-order breakfasts from a breakfast burrito to a five-egg omelet that can serve a small family, or a standard American breakfast — two eggs with choice of one meat served with home fries and toast — a breakfast chicken-fried steak with eggs, hamburger or ham steak with eggs and an assortment of egg sandwiches. For $1 more, you can ask for gluten-free bread.
For customers who remember Wes’s Burger Shack & More, you can still order a hamburger or cheeseburger with your choice of sides, so long as you order before 10:30 a.m.
He said he looks forward to coming to work every day because he knows he is going to see friends, family and friends who become family. “If you are not family, you will be soon,” he said.
Wes Teeter prepared a home-style omelet for Tex Appeal. Everything he used was fresh and when asked if he had a special ingredient that made his omelet stand out he said, “love.”
“We make our food with love.”
HOMETOWN DINER 5-EGG OMELET WITH HOME FRIES AND TEXAS TOAST
(This recipe can be reduced to a 2-, 3-, or 4-egg omelet.)
- 5 eggs
- 7 ounces of ham, chopped in small pieces, OR
- 3 ounces of pork sausage, OR
- 3 ounces of bacon
- Chopped onion to taste (optional)
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 ounces shredded cheese
- Diced tomatoes
Brown meat and onion in a pan.
Whip together eggs with 1 tablespoon milk and pour in pan with browned meat. Add cheese and other ingredients of your choice, such as diced tomatoes.
Fold over cooked omelet and serve with home fries and Texas toast. Top with additional tomatoes for garnish.