6/24/2013 05:18:00 PM

Burger Chains Are Flipping Over Philly

Shake Shack led the way
While Philly’s coming pizza explosion is an all-local, all-independent phenomenon, it looks like the region is headed for a burger boom that features a bunch of out-of-town franchises. Maybe Shake Shack’s success in Rittenhouse this past year has provided encouragement, or maybe it’s the growing credibility of our food scene in general, but for whatever reason, more national burger joints are on the way.

Shack Shack itself is leading the charge. A couple of weeks ago we caught up with Mark Rosati, who confirmed September opening dates for two new area outposts, in University City and King of Prussia. Then there’s Umami Burger - back in February, we spoke with a rep who told us Philadelphia is “an example of a city that is an ideal market” for the California based chain, and although we don’t yet have a target date or location. And now, The Insider has news of four more to add to the list.

The new Home2 Suites next to the Convention Center will be home to Burger Fi, a Florida-based chain that that has registered a trademark for the phrase “Burgerfication of the Nation.” Expect all-natural, grass-fed beef patties plus fresh-cut fries, hot dogs and frozen custards for dessert this fall. Today is the debut of BurgerMonger in the Willow Grove Park Mall, 30 minutes north of the city. The Tampa-based outfit serves burgers made from Akaushi Japanese beef, and says that “taking your family to BurgerMonger is an choice that is good for both your health and taste buds.”

Also from Florida (don’t they all have to worry about fitting into bathing suits, down there?) is Burger 21, apparently already open in Voorhees on Town Center Boulevard. If you head over the bridge you can try The OMG burger - basically a bacon double cheeseburger with made Angus beef. The last of The Insider’s reported newcomers hails from closer to home: SmashBurger from North Jersey, a company that believes “smashing is better” (don’t tell Bobby Flay). Branches are reportedly set to land in Maple Shade and Radnor.


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