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#1 ExtraMSG

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 05:41 PM

http://www.oregonliv..._micah_cam.html

Some of Portland's best-known chefs and restaurants are grinding out new versions, from FosterBurger (led by Pok Pok's Andy Ricker and Sel Gris' Daniel Mondok) to Biwa, where the late-night Japanese pub menu now offers a burger topped with BBQ pork and kim chee mayo. And everyone seems to be talking about the fantastic burger on a homemade bun at Gruner, Christopher Israel's chic new alpine restaurant in downtown Portland.

Now, Northeast Portland's indie restaurant lord Micah Camden -- owner of Fats, Yakuza and DOC -- is weighing in with Little Big Burger. Camden is getting ready to sign a lease for his new fast-food concept in the Pearl District, slated to open in May or June at 505 N.W. 14th Ave.

....

Camden's mouth-stretching burger at Yakuza -- a tower of domestic kobe beef and goat cheese spilling ribbons of fried, chili-spiked, truffle-scented potatoes on a brioche bun -- is considered one of Portland's best. His Little Big Burger will be a mini Yakuza burger, or what Camden calls a "mega slider." The formula includes Oregon's Highland Oak beef topped with fried potatoes, cheddar cheese and chopped onions on a Grand Central Bakery bun -- for $3.50.

....

The menu will be limited to just four items: the burger, fries ($2), canned soda ($1) and canned beers, served in a bright, clean fast-food-inspired atmosphere with white and sunburst orange colors, counter service, 25 seats and outdoor picnic tables.


I thought there was a thread on this already, but couldn't find it. This is the old Chow spot.

This doesn't seem like a clear winner to me: 1) a lot of really good burgers around the Pearl in places with a lot more variety, even if more expensive, 2) paying servers on such low margins/tickets seems dangerous, 3) going head-to-head with chains where the burgers have improved a lot lately. (Really, the angus burger at McD, the six dollar burger at Carl's Jr, etc, are a big step up from national fast food burgers from just 5 years ago. Plus if 5 Guys is truly going to bring in 20 locations to the area? At least the Pearl is harder for these guys to move into, but Subway and Chipotle already have shops.)

Hopefully they'll be really good and really quick, because the price is very fair.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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#2 nervousxtian

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 09:12 PM

$6.50 for a burger/fries/coke with decent ingredients in the Pearl? Should be a hit. Not sure how you pay rent on that though.

#3 ExtraMSG

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 10:46 PM

Rent is usually a much smaller a percentage of revenue than labor. Say he spends $4-5k/mo on rent, which probably isn't too far off if I had to guess. That's about the same cost as having two servers.
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#4 SarahWS

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 01:21 AM

So is he trying for something like the Shake Shack where people line up? Without that kind of volume, I don't see how you can make your nut in the Pearl District each month with burgers grilled to order. And the article implies that he thinks he can make more like the 30% profit he wants with this venture versus the 5% he's making at his other restaurants. Huh.

What's a "mega slider"? Either people will bitch that it's so small if you call it a burger or it's a slider on steroids. It's a slider, so I do think people are going to want two or more and will expect a discount for volume like what White Castle does.

And why canned soda versus a fountain? My brother worked for 10 years for two huge gas station chains in Georgia and would go on and on how they make their profit on the fountain drinks. The cost per unit for the fountain drinks is just a few cents once you have decent volume. Cans are never that inexpensive, yet you can't charge quite as much.

That intersection is an interesting choice. With the freeway so close by on one side, the constant traffic from the off ramp on NW 13th, and the lack of parking in that area, you really need to rely on pedestrian traffic yet I'm not sure how many people will want to walk there for lunch with its location on the west end of the Pearl District. Will be interesting to try, as I definitely adore In-N-Out and White Castle.

#5 polloelastico

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 09:24 AM

This doesn't seem like a clear winner to me: 1) a lot of really good burgers around the Pearl in places with a lot more variety, even if more expensive, 2) paying servers on such low margins/tickets seems dangerous, 3) going head-to-head with chains where the burgers have improved a lot lately. (Really, the angus burger at McD, the six dollar burger at Carl's Jr, etc, are a big step up from national fast food burgers from just 5 years ago. Plus if 5 Guys is truly going to bring in 20 locations to the area? At least the Pearl is harder for these guys to move into, but Subway and Chipotle already have shops.)

Hopefully they'll be really good and really quick, because the price is very fair.

The article mentions counter service? Having servers would make no sense and slow down volume.

This excites me more actually than other recent spate of burger-centric openings and soon-to-be-openings, due to the simplicity of the menu, the affordability factor, and the singular focus. I'm happy that the name isn't ridiculous like Yakuza, which prevents me from ever going to that place and trying their burger...at least he didn't name this place "Juggalo".
“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” — George Carlin

#6 Quo Vadis

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 09:31 AM

Damn it!

I wanted that location for Drunken J's Stew on a Stick!
Foiled again!
Methinks I am like a man, who having struck on many shoals, and having narrowly escap'd shipwreck in passing a small frith, has yet the temerity to put out to sea in the same leaky weather-beaten vessel, and even carries his ambition so far as to think of compassing the globe under these disadvantageous circumstances-Hume

#7 truth

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 11:02 AM

Damn it!

I wanted that location for Drunken J's Stew on a Stick!
Foiled again!


mmmm stick stew
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#8 ExtraMSG

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 12:27 PM

You're right, Pollo. It says counter service. I'm an idiot. Should have read something that incongruous twice.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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#9 Quo Vadis

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 12:31 PM

And why canned soda versus a fountain? My brother worked for 10 years for two huge gas station chains in Georgia and would go on and on how they make their profit on the fountain drinks. The cost per unit for the fountain drinks is just a few cents once you have decent volume. Cans are never that inexpensive, yet you can't charge quite as much.


1) fountain drinks rely on often unreliable vendor delivery (here in pdx VERY unreliable)
2) fountain bevs need maintanence, constant upkeep and cleaning- labor
3) when you sell by the can/bottle it makes it much more difficult for people to endlessly complain that they can't have endless free refills. That is until lately, when people have gotten wise and just started complaining about no fountain.
Methinks I am like a man, who having struck on many shoals, and having narrowly escap'd shipwreck in passing a small frith, has yet the temerity to put out to sea in the same leaky weather-beaten vessel, and even carries his ambition so far as to think of compassing the globe under these disadvantageous circumstances-Hume

#10 polloelastico

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 12:35 PM

All good points. Also, it reduces the chance of drinking feces.

http://www.rodale.com/bacteria-soda
“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” — George Carlin

#11 Quo Vadis

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 12:39 PM

All good points. Also, it reduces the chance of drinking feces.

http://www.rodale.com/bacteria-soda



Fruit flies too. Fruit flies loves them some soda fountains.
Methinks I am like a man, who having struck on many shoals, and having narrowly escap'd shipwreck in passing a small frith, has yet the temerity to put out to sea in the same leaky weather-beaten vessel, and even carries his ambition so far as to think of compassing the globe under these disadvantageous circumstances-Hume

#12 nervousxtian

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 01:21 PM

And why canned soda versus a fountain? My brother worked for 10 years for two huge gas station chains in Georgia and would go on and on how they make their profit on the fountain drinks. The cost per unit for the fountain drinks is just a few cents once you have decent volume. Cans are never that inexpensive, yet you can't charge quite as much.


1) fountain drinks rely on often unreliable vendor delivery (here in pdx VERY unreliable)
2) fountain bevs need maintanence, constant upkeep and cleaning- labor
3) when you sell by the can/bottle it makes it much more difficult for people to endlessly complain that they can't have endless free refills. That is until lately, when people have gotten wise and just started complaining about no fountain.


Also, cups and straws aren't free... and you constantly want people who just want water for free and want a cup, lid, straw for free as well.

A lot less hassle to just sell cans.

#13 Quo Vadis

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 01:24 PM

Someone chimes in with "well that's just the cost of doing business!" and my head explodes in 3...2.....
Methinks I am like a man, who having struck on many shoals, and having narrowly escap'd shipwreck in passing a small frith, has yet the temerity to put out to sea in the same leaky weather-beaten vessel, and even carries his ambition so far as to think of compassing the globe under these disadvantageous circumstances-Hume

#14 ExtraMSG

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 01:47 PM

Who's had the Yakuza burger? I've never been into Yakuza just because when I'm in that mood, I end up at Biwa or Tanuki or Yuzu. But I have heard the burger is very good from several people with different palates.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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#15 Joisey

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 02:15 PM

Who's had the Yakuza burger? I've never been into Yakuza just because when I'm in that mood, I end up at Biwa or Tanuki or Yuzu. But I have heard the burger is very good from several people with different palates.


I've had it, it's pretty good though it's hardly "mouth stretching".

#16 ExtraMSG

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 02:41 PM

Maybe I'll go hit it, then head over to Biwa for their latenight burger soon.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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#17 EvaB

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 07:48 AM

Anyone know what's up w/plans for this enterprise? I drove by the space recently and there was a "For Lease" sign up in the window.
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#18 Quo Vadis

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 07:59 AM

Anyone know what's up w/plans for this enterprise? I drove by the space recently and there was a "For Lease" sign up in the window.



The for lease sign is down and the exterior is being painted.
Methinks I am like a man, who having struck on many shoals, and having narrowly escap'd shipwreck in passing a small frith, has yet the temerity to put out to sea in the same leaky weather-beaten vessel, and even carries his ambition so far as to think of compassing the globe under these disadvantageous circumstances-Hume

#19 truth

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 03:13 PM

So much for the burger joint, Eater pdx says it is going to be a hawaiian plate lunch chain??

http://pdx.eater.com...rl-district.php
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#20 Twohearted

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 03:16 PM

So much for the burger joint, Eater pdx says it is going to be a hawaiian plate lunch chain??

http://pdx.eater.com...rl-district.php


I can confirm this. The signage is up for Hawaiian Time. I would have rather had Little Big Burger I think. Is this chain any good?