While Murfreesboro has grown enormously over the past few decades, Buster’s Place, housed in a plain-looking building on Broad Street near the Stones River, has remained a local institution.
Since 1973, this roadhouse has served up thousands upon thousands of hamburgers, while giving its patrons a comfortable place to kick back, chat and enjoy a cold drink and a hot burger.
For years, many have called it the best burger joint in town.
“The burger was excellent. Cooked to order, fresh, juicy, flavorful,” a Buster’s customer said recently.
Roy Eakes, who grew up with the original owner, Buster Pugh, has been a customer ever since the place opened in the ’70s, he said.
“He had pool tables in here originally, but business got going so well he took them out to have more seats,” Eakes recalled.
And while Peter Moret has owned Buster’s Place since late 2013, purchasing the lot as well as the business, Eakes still eats plenty of Buster Burgers.
Nearly every day for lunch, “I’m either here or at Kleer-Vu one,” Eakes said. “There’s probably been more burgers sold here than anywhere in the world!”
While the menu is still relatively small and the burgers are clearly the star, Moret has made a few additions.
For one, there’s a trio of specialty burgers: a bacon, cheddar and jalapeño burger; a bacon, mushroom and Swiss burger; and a chili, cheddar and jalapeño burger.
Other choices include ribs, chili, fried bologna and hamburger steak, even a large salad with grilled chicken.
But the second-most popular item at Buster’s may now be the wings. Customers have been raving about Moret’s hickory-smoked wings.
“The new chef is brilliant, friendly and had the great idea of serving wings,” according to Yelper Scott M., who said he also applauds Buster’s avoiding the use of frozen hamburger meat. The burgers have a great, beefy taste to them.
Just upon passing the building, its simple appearance may not entice newcomers to enter for a meal, but many who do give it a try have been pleasantly surprised.
Overall, the interior is comfortable and clean, though the atmosphere is a little on the divey side with its neon signs and draft beer handles.
“Be Nice or Leave,” a sign over the bar reads. Yep, a family-friendly environment can be found at this spot where the griddle is hot, and the fries are crinkle-cut. Buster’s Place does welcome diners of all ages.
The grill is out in the open behind the bar, so you can watch the cooks prepare your burger.
A covered area outside hosts a few picnic tables.
Coke is served in a can, which is a plus for some, but Buster’s Place offers no free soft drink refills, which is a drawback for others.
Buster’s Place offers $2 drafts on Fridays, and salty, crispy onion rings are also available.
Being a smaller establishment, it can be hard to compete pricewise with some of the companies that do more volume, and though some may balk at the $8.75 price on a double burger alone, Buster’s enthusiasts will tell you the quality and the company are worth it.
“I’m loving this unassuming little place. Doesn’t look like it’s changed much in 50 years or so. Lots of longtime customers and regulars. It felt like Cheers, Southern style,” another customer, Mell, commented on social media. “Fantastic burger . . . hand-formed, probably an inch thick. Juicy and delicious.”
For a great burger in a dive bar atmosphere, Buster’s is the Place.
And to true Murfreesboro locals, the memories of coming in the local restaurant in decades past may make the burgers taste even a little bit better.
IF YOU GO:
1615 NW Broad St.
Mon.–Sat. 10:30 a.m.–8 p.m.
Single burger: $4.95; double burger: $8.75; large chili cheese fries: $5.95; Buster’s salad: $6.95