Tony Barragan opened Bim Bam Burgers & Wings in 2013 after taking over a former location of Christy’s Burgers at 2204 Jackson Avenue West.
Since then, Barragan has grown his fan base and brand enough to garner the attention of those in towns as far away as Starkville, Tupelo and Batesville, where you can now get staple menu items such as the half-pound Bim Bam Burger, Double Bam Burger, wings, Philly cheesesteaks, catfish sandwiches and spicy fries.
It all began when a customer from Starkville started frequenting the Oxford location, according to Barragan.
“He felt that Starkville would be a good place to have the food from Bim Bam Burgers—but not necessarily the name,” Barragan said. “He ended up franchising the business and calling it Bully’s Burgers & Wings; same menu, different name.”
Bim Bam started its expansion with a second location in Tupelo at 312 S. Gloster Street, and seven months later, Bully’s in Starkville opened at 500 Russell Street.
“I think the fact that it’s growing is really catching people’s eye,” Barragan said, “and the food is awesome, there’s no doubt about that.”
The newest Bim Bam outpost, at 440 E. Highway 6 in Batesville, opened in early March and is already becoming a local hot spot.
“My wife Erica quit her job of 10 years to learn the operation and is now running the Batesville store,” Barragan said. “The goal is to eventually grow to 100 locations.”
One hundred locations may seem like a far-off dream to many, but Barragan said that with each new store opening, he’s approached by someone wanting a Bim Bam in their town. At the same time, he’s careful to pace his growth and choose his locations wisely.
“There’s definitely a Bim Bam coming to New Albany, but only after I take a break for a little bit,” Barragan said, who recently got married and bought a new house. “My family is originally from Chicago, and my brother just opened a convenient store, which has a kitchen in the back; he wants to do a Bim Bam over there, too.”
As with any growing restaurant, Barragan has taken steps to ensure that each new location serves the same product many fell in love with in Oxford.
“We got together with some Ole Miss students for a year and a half, who were awesome, and helped us create a Standard Operating Procedures manual,” Barragan said. “Each store has a copy of the recipes and has been trained in how to make everything; you’re going to get the same burger no matter which store you go to.”
It also helps that Barragan said he has awesome employees that go out of their way to please their customers.
A Haven for Sports Fans
“I wasn’t a big football fan when I started Bim Bam, and now I’m passionate about it,” Barragan said. “I like to keep the restaurant sports affiliated with the TVs tuned to sports and each Bim Bam supporting local sports.”
While the Oxford location focuses on Ole Miss and Oxford sports, customers in Batesville see Panola County teams donning the walls.
Coming Soon to Oxford
Amidst the new store openings, Barragan is also focused on improving his first store in Oxford. “We recently hired Elizabeth Goodnite from The Crump Firm to redesign Bim Bam in Oxford,” Barragan said. “If we can’t get the redesign started by football season, it will most likely happen over Christmas, since the store will have to be closed.”
Additional changes to Oxford include soft-serve ice cream coming soon (already available in Batesville and Tupelo), and the recent addition of Sugaree’s Bakery products, rollover phone lines to help eliminate busy signals, and a delivery option through Landshark Delivery.
In addition to the changes, Barragan has set new store hours for Bim Bam. As of May 15, the restaurant will close on Sundays. Monday to Thursday, it is open from 10:30 a.m. until 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday it is open from 10:30 a.m. until 11 p.m.
For more information about Bim Bam Burgers & Wings, visit bimbamburgers.com or call 662-238-7802 (Oxford).
Liz Barrett Foster is the EatingOxford editor for HottyToddy.com, an award-winning business journalist and author of the recently published Pizza: A Slice of American History. Liz ran the popular restaurant information site EatingOxford.com from 2009 to 2015. Liz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.