Chicago burger chain targets Grand Rapids


Courtesy DMK Burger Bar/Neil Burger

A Chicago burger chain plans to expand into Michigan, starting with the Grand Rapids area.

DMK Burger Bar said this week it is accepting franchise applications in Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor and Detroit, with the goal of signing its first franchisee in West Michigan in the next few months and opening a location in 2018.

A representative for the company said DMK aims to establish four to six locations in the state by enlisting the help of “multi-unit” franchisees.

DMK Burger Bar currently has five locations in Chicago and its suburbs.

The burger chain serves 100-percent grass-fed beef, Colorado lamb, all-natural turkey and veggie burgers, paired with “legendary buns, shakes so thick they need no straw and fries that you dream about,” in a “casual-dining and counter-service” setting, according to DMK.

DMK also plans to expand in Illinois and into California, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin in the coming months.

The company said the franchising will be led by chef Michael Kornick, Morton’s Steakhouse “legacy” David Morton and franchise manager David Grossman.

Morton said “pent-up demand” spurred the franchising plans.

“Long-time local customers and visitors to Chicago would often approach us to ‘please franchise the premium burger concept,’” Morton said. “We know the model and culture we’ve created are just as crave-able as the menu items we serve.”

DMK Burger Bar, launched in 2009, has been featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” show, named “Best Fries in Chicago” by Chicago Magazine, named the “Best Veggie Burger in Chicago” by the Chicago Tribune and named one of the top 10 “Best Burgers in America” by Fox News.

Information for prospective franchisees is available online.

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