The owner behind a longtime bar and restaurant in the Fan is hitching his entrepreneurial to a new-to-the-market franchise doubling down on Chesterfield.
Joey McCullough, the owner of Metro Bar & Grill on North Robinson Street, is preparing to launch his second Burgerim outpost in Chesterfield County, this time in the Winterfield Crossing development that’s under construction along Midlothian Turnpike.
The restaurant will occupy about 1,600 square feet in the retail portion of the mixed-use development that eventually will house 100,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, a mix of 238 market-rate units and up to 250 age-restricted apartments, and 25,000 square feet of office space upon build out.
The Winterfield location will add to McCullough’s location that he’s readying Burgerim in the Swift Creek Place shopping center under construction at 13501 Hull Street Road near Brandermill. A separate Burgerim franchisee unaffiliated with McCullough is opening a location in the Publix-anchored Nuckols Place development at 5400 Wyndham Forest Drive in Henrico County.
McCullough hopes to have his Winterfield location open by the first quarter of 2020, and the Swift Creek Place outpost operational by mid-October.
Each location looks to employ about 20 to 40 people, McCullough said. He would not say how much he’s investing in the restaurants.
Lindsey Barden of Dark Horse Commercial Real Estate represented Burgerim in the Winterfield lease. Peter Vick and Harrison Hall of Divaris represented the landlord.
Raised in Midlothian, McCullough, who describes himself as a serial entrepreneur, said he was drawn to the national miniburger chain because of its variety of ingredients.
“I was looking for something new to invest in,” McCullough said. “I really liked the concept and thought it would be great to bring it to the area.”
Burgerim, which translates to “many burgers” in Hebrew, was launched in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 2011. It since has grown to more than 70 locations nationwide, with higher concentrations in California, Texas, New York and Florida.
The chain emphasizes that it sells miniburgers, not sliders. The miniburgers are made with 2.8-ounce patties — meat that is slightly larger than a typical slider, according to its website.
Patrons can customize their burgers with 10 types of patties, including beef, Wagyu and lamb, as well as with whole wheat, gluten-free or sesame seed brioche-like buns and toppings such as grilled onions, avocado, bacon and pineapple.
As an update to its menu, the company also is adding one-third- and quarter-pound pound burgers, and is planning to add its “Uncut Burger” – a plant-based patty whose texture and flavor is comparable to meat, McCullough said.
Beyond beef, Burgerim’s menu also includes chicken wings, salads, fish and meat-free options such as falafel and milkshakes.
The chain operates seven locations in Virginia, in Fredericksburg, Ashburn, Manassas, Arlington, Haymarket, Brambleton and Harrisonburg, according to its website. Outside of Richmond, Burgerim is preparing to open additional locations in Yorktown, Falls Church, Loudoun and Fredericksburg.
McCullough said he plans to add to that location count outside of the Richmond market, with stores being eyed under his franchise agreement in Norfolk and Chesapeake.