Friday, October 14, 2011

Boston Globe article on Wahlburgers

Here is an article from the Boston Globe about Wahlburgers:

By Jessica Bartlett, Town Correspondent

Paul Wahlberg’s newest restaurant, Wahlburgers, will open to fanfare at the Hingham Shipyard on Monday, Oct. 24, just a few months since the idea was first brought to the attention of Hingham officials.

It’s been a fast-track process for the casual burger restaurant, which will be a neighbor to the existing Alma Nove - an upscale Italian and Mediterranean cuisine restaurant also owned and founded by Wahlberg, his celebrity brothers - Mark and Donnie Wahlberg, and family friend Ed St. Croix.

The new establishment is anticipated to be approximately 4,367 square feet, with 120 seats (80 inside, 40 outside) that will serve traditional burgers, fries, hotdogs, and shakes.

It’s a $900,000 project that received the town’s approval for an all liquor-license in mid-August, and received the state’s signatures on the license earlier this week.

The opening event, which will be in the evening of the Oct. 24, will feature “a celebrity filled grand opening party,” St. Croix said. The event is invite-only, and will also double as a charity event, representatives said.

By Tuesday, Oct. 25, the establishment will be open for business to the public at 11 a.m.

The restaurant plans to open a few days prior to the grand opening to iron out remaining details, though a definite date has not been set.

Despite any recent bumps in the road, the biggest hurdle in creating the restaurant was acquiring the name.

It was previously trademarked to a Tom Wahl’s, the owner of a burger chain based out of New York, which had an aptly named “Wahlburger” on the menu. Yet Wahlberg business partners were able to secure full spectrum of the name in late August.

Since then, much has occurred – the permits have been filed, the liquor orders are in, the training has begun, and everyone is ready and prepped for the big day.

“We have ongoing employee training every day, so when the doors open, we are prepared,” said St. Croix in an e-mail about the opening. “Everyone's excited to launch the brand and we feel very confident that we will compete well in the "better burger" space.

The burgers will also feature a "special sauce", and some of the frappes will be "adult only", or containing alcohol.

Although the main thoroughfare will focus on the classic 50’s diner-like menu, at a selectmen’s meeting in August, Wahlberg said the menu would also focus on some healthier options, such as salmon burgers, turkey burgers, and eventually salads.

It’s an opening that has generated interest from around the country, St. Croix said.

“We've had requests from people all around the world wanting a Wahlburgers in their hometown, but in the mean time they will make it a point to visit the first one in Hingham when they are in the Boston area,” he said.

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