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Seasoned El Paso restaurateurs open Boss Tenders

Peter Piper operator teams up with John Geske for new concept.

Longtime El Paso restaurateurs John Geske and Kirk Robison have teamed up to open a new, fast-food restaurant: Boss Tenders, Dogs & Custard.

Geske "is a successful operator of independent (restaurant) brands in El Paso, and I have a successful career in franchise (restaurant) brands. It seemed like a natural combination," said Robison, whose company, Pizza Properties, operates 49 franchised Peter Piper Pizza locations in El Paso, other Texas cities, and Las Cruces.

The first of three planned Boss Tenders opened Monday at 1830 Joe Battle in an outlying building of shops in Far East El Paso's El Paseo Marketplace.

The restaurant serves chicken strips, with nine homemade dipping sauces, homemade french fries, grilled hot dogs and frozen custard.

A lot of chicken is in the fast-food industry, but by adding frozen custard and hot dogs, I think "we have a niche in the market," Robison said.

Geske said Boss is partly going after Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers, a popular national chain, which is constructing its third El Paso location. But Boss is differentiating itself, he said, by adding homemade fries and nine dipping sauces.

Cane's serves frozen fries and has only one dipping sauce, he noted.

Geske said he's been after Robison for several years to do a restaurant with him, and this year, he finally agreed to it.

"It took three or four months of brainstorming" to decide on Boss Tenders, said Geske, 41, who's been in the restaurant business 15 years.

He has five other restaurant brands in El Paso: Geske's Fire Grill, Cabo Joe's (with two locations), Nona's Pizza, the Downtowner at Hotel Indigo, and Union Draft House.

Geske also recently helped El Paso restaurateur Anthony Duncan develop the Thirty 5ive Tavern and Grill at 10420 Montwood at Yarbrough, in a former Nona's Pizza location.

Robison said he got interested in doing a new restaurant concept after he sold his 39 Burger King franchised locations in El Paso and other areas of Texas early this year to a Chicago family.

"I was looking to get into something different rather than another franchise," said Robison, 77, who's been operating Peter Piper restaurants for 35 years.

He has 14 Peter Piper locations in the El Paso area, and two in Las Cruces.

Robison's 50th Peter Piper location will open early next year in McAllen, he said.

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