This story originally appeared in Model D.
You may have seen the new vinyl banner that reads "Coming Soon!" with the Bagger Dave's logo that was hung over the weekend at 1224 Randolph Street next to the recently-opened Buffalo Wild Wings in Greektown. While the restaurant is still a long way out from opening, Southfield-based Diversified Restaurant Holdings, Inc. is moving forward with plans to open this as a Bagger Dave's despite some unforeseen setbacks.
After the lengthy Buffalo Wild Wings renovation that soared into the millions ($3.5 million for the renovation work alone; $5 million when factoring in other opening costs like purchasing equipment), Diversified is now focused on Bagger Dave's. This will be the first Bagger Dave's in Detroit and the fifth in metro Detroit. There are 12 locations total in Michigan and Indiana, and seven are planned to open this year.
Because of the old infrastructure on this block, construction has been delayed as they have been working with DTE to bring electrical power over to the building. Michael Ansley, president and CEO of Diversified Restaurant Holdings, Inc., hopes construction will start this summer and be completed in October.
The short, narrow building was built as a bank in the late 1800s. Only 18 feet wide, the lower floor will seat roughly 60 while the second-floor bar will seat another 70. One of the building's key features is a skylight that extends the length of the building on the second floor that the bar will sit directly beneath. "It's going to be really cool," says Ansley. "We're really excited to get (this project moving forward)."
The building has already been completely gutted. In addition to retaining the skylight, they will also be restoring the building's limestone façade and preserving the historic front window. This renovation is expected to cost about $1 million.
Though it has previously been reported that Diversified might move its corporate offices to the third floor of the Buffalo Wild Wings, the company will no longer move forward with those plans.
Source: Michael Ansley, president and CEO of Diversified Restaurant Holdings, Inc.
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg
Smashburger is on fire. It is expanding at a high clip, opening international ventures, and is even preparing to take on In-N-Out. The chain currently has locations in 27 states, so if it hasn't invaded your state yet, it might only be a matter of time. The patty is smashed, seared and seasoned to order, so it may take you slightly longer to get your order than at a fast food restaurant, but we'd argue that those few extra minutes are well worth the wait.
Fatburger is one chain that sees dollar signs abroad. By the end of 2012, nearly half all Fatburger's 150 locations will be international units -- in Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iraq, Korea, Indonesia, China and Macau. There are another 225 in development.
Umami Burger isn't expanding nearly as fast as Smashburger or Fatburger -- it only has about 15 locations, most of which are in Southern California. Regardless it is definitely a chain to watch. Umami Burger has achieved serious cult status in California and is making the big jump to the East Coast this March. If it can convert East Coast burger lovers as well, it may be unstoppable.
Not too long ago (2004 to be exact), Shake Shack was just a lonely hamburger stand in New York's Madison Square Park. Then it expanded to other locations in New York. Then it went to DC, Philadelphia, Miami, Connecticut. Then, Shake Shack traveled even farther, and expanded to Dubai, Kuwait City, Doha and Abu Dhabi. Still reaching, the chain has plans for Boston and London this year. Will this chain ever be stopped?
Giraffas is a Brazilian restaurant chain that has opened a few branches in Miami, with more locations to Florida. If all goes according to plan, D.C. might be next on the list. Giraffas makes its burgers by using a Brazilian cut of beef called picanha -- the cap of beef rump steak. In Brazil, Giraffas is a fast food chain, but when Giraffas opened in the U.S., it opted for a fast casual model in order to distinguish itself.