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Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014
Brandon News

BurgerMonger to open in Bloomingdale Square


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BurgerMonger, which has locations in Carrollwood and the New Tampa area, is planning to expand to Brandon this fall.

Lisa Deptula of Odessa, BurgerMonger's business manager, said it plans to open in the space vacated by Cherry's Bar & Grill at the Bloomingdale Square shopping center in Brandon, at the crossroads of Bloomingdale Avenue and Bell Shoals Road.

"We are really excited about opening in Brandon," she said. "We have a lot of guests asking us to open up a location in Brandon. We just think it's a nice area for us."

She said the plan is to hire between 40 and 50 people.

"That's usually our initial hire," she said. "In the past what we have done is held a job fair a few weeks before training. We usually do it at the location and we hold it for two to three days. It's just interviews right on the spot."

Deptula said the Brandon location will be the fourth for owners Jake Hickton of St. Petersburg and Bob Slane, who resides in California.

Hickton said their first location was in Carrollwood. They opened it in May 2010.

"All of us at BurgerMonger are delighted to build a new restaurant in the wonderful town of Brandon," Hickton said. "It excites us to go to a marketplace were we have already made so many friends. We feel that Brandon is an important step in our strategy to grow our company in Central Florida."

Deptula said BurgerMonger is unique in that it prepares burgers made with 100 percent USDA, above prime, all natural, Akaushi Kobe Beef. The meat is seasoned with a blend of natural sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and served on a mild garlic-buttered Challah bun.

"The Akaushi beef is a Japanese breed of cow," she said. "It's arguably one of the healthiest beef on the planet. It rates above prime every time. It has a better taste, in my opinion. Some guests describe it as juicy and not greasy."

She said some refer to it as the "foie gras of beef."

As far as the name of the restaurant, Deptula explained that a "monger" is a trader or dealer of fine goods. They strive to use the finest ingredients, she said.

With the Fourth of July just around the corner, Deptula said they are preparing for customers who don't have time to grill, but may be on their way to the beach, park or parade.

"We were pretty busy on Memorial Day," said Deptula, who will be working at BurgerMonger on Thursday. "Not everyone wants the mess of grilling. If they are on way to beach or park and they don't want to mess with anything."

With call-in service, it typically only takes 5 to 8 minutes to get the order ready.

"We say order as you are getting in your car - we are pretty fast," she said.

For the holiday, she expects most customers to order hamburgers or hot dogs, which also are made with Akaushi Kobe Beef. In addition, the restaurant also has a 6-ounce vegetarian burger called "The Veggie Monger," chicken breast sandwiches and salads.

They recently modified their menu to include light chicken Caesar salad. But for heartier appetites, they do sell a "Monster Monger."

"It's two 8-ounce patties for those looking to eat big," she said. "But really, we are more about quality. And, we pride ourselves on guest service."

Deptula said many customers like the laid-back atmosphere of the restaurant.

"I think some families are on their way somewhere and want to feed their kids a healthy meal," she said. "On their way, they may grab something to go. They may stop in for a quick bite. They don't want to sit too long because they have that younger family."

As far as toppings and condiments, they offer everything from the standard tomatoes and regular ketchup and mustard to grilled mushrooms, hot banana peppers, sweet onions, balsamic-glazed tomatoes, roasted sweet peppers, Chicago neon relish, red leaf lettuce, jalapenos and a chef's recipe special Monger sauce.

In addition to the Florida locations, there is also a BurgerMonger in Willow Grove, Pa.

For more information on BurgerMonger, visit the Carrollwood location at 10412 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., or call (813) 968-6860, or its New Tampa/Wesley Chapel location at 1656 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., or call (813) 991-4242.

The hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Lcone@tampatrib.com

(813) 731-2008

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