UNIVERSITY PARK -- Burger and Beer Joint will open a one-of-a-kind restaurant for the Miami-based chain inside the Mall at University Town Center.
The oversized burger bar signed with the mall late this summer after Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar pulled out of the mall. The restaurant, which will be beside Kona Grill on the east side of the mall, won't be open for the mall's first day, said Bill Herman, brand development manager for the restaurant group, and expects to be ready for Black Friday, Nov. 28.
The 5,300-square-foot restaurant includes a 2,600-square-foot-patio, which will be the largest for any Burger and Beer Joint location, Herman said.
"We treat it almost like a flagship," Herman said.
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The outdoor area will allow the restaurant space to have a small stage area for live music, something that's typically not done at the other locations, Herman said. Its largest restaurant is the newly opened Orlando location at 6,000 square feet, but it lacks a large outdoor area, he said.
"We really want to make it a fun area," Herman said.
While diners will flock
there for fun, they'll also be interested in the food. The restaurant features an eclectic mix of sandwiches, salads and burgers, including the popular Hotel California with bacon and a fried egg. There's also a $150 10-pound mother burger.
"It's virtually impossible to eat it," Herman said. Even Adam Richman of "Man Vs. Food" couldn't finish it.
"A group of 10 or more try to eat it. It's a great conversation piece when this massive burger comes out and is paraded out," he added.
The burger joint is also noted for its adult milkshakes, spiked with alcohol, funky desserts like fried Twinkies with ice cream all with a rock 'n' roll energy, Herman said. They'll also scout local breweries to give a Florida craft flair to the beer selection, he added.
The restaurant group signed on with Taubman Centers for a three-center deal that includes the Mall at UTC, the Mall of San Juan in Puerto Rico in March and Dolphin Mall in Miami in early fall 2015, Herman said. Another location will be opening soon in City Place in West Palm Beach. The restaurant started in South Beach in 2009 before expanding to Miami's Mary Brickell Village. Last year, the company licensed its first store in Pembroke Pines.
"We have a big presence already in South Florida and wanted to open in another part of the state," Herman said. "We opened two months ago in Orlando and now it makes sense to venture into the Tampa, St. Pete and Orlando areas."
The restaurant signed on with Taubman in July to replace Zinburger.
"We made a business decision to not open in the Bradenton/Sarasota area at this time," Zinburger spokesman Tom Beyer said.
Now, Burger and Beer Joint plans to hire 60 to 70 employees, trying to hire a general manager, two assistant general managers and a kitchen manager before moving on to the rest of the staff, Herman said. Job seekers can apply at bnbjoint.com/jobs.
Charles Schelle, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @ImYourChuck.