Fast Food on Concord: Resident Seeks to Open Burger Joint in 'B-Town'
B-Town Kitchen, catering to community with family-friendly, music-inspired menu, with eyes set on High School students and local residents as customer base.
Ah, the burger joint; one of the most quintessential all-American dining experience for more than 60 years. Nearly every town in the US had one - a mom and pop operation, sometimes a drive-in or with window service where kids and families would drop by for that one common unifying meal - a hamburger, fries and shake.
Just that concept of a quick, inexpensive meal created the massive world-wide fast food industry; McDonald's was a single restaurant run by brothers before Ray Kroc changed the face of eating.
Its allure became part of popular culture: Archie and Jughead still hang out at Pop's and the action in the film "American Graffiti" revolves around Mel's Drive-in.
After suffering since the 1970s due to competition and changing eating habits, the neighborhood joint concept has been revitalized with retro eateries currently the rage around the country and in Boston with new places such as Four Burgers in Central Square, Cambridge, Flat Patties in Harvard Square and the Boston Burger Company in Somerville's Davis Square a few examples.
And if a resident with a background in the food industry is successful, Belmont will have its own, updated version of that burger joint in the new commercial block at the corner of Concord Avenue and Bright Road.
With the motto "eat. drink. listen." the 60-seat B Town Kitchen at 70 Concord Ave. would join a sudden rush of eateries that have come to Belmont in the past 18 months. It will join a yet-to-be-opened East Boston Savings Bank branch and Indigo Fire Pottery Studio at the new strip mall built on the site of the Murray Sandler Skate Shop.
And a good part of the new eateries targeted consumer base will be the 1,100 students of Belmont High School located just a few 100 yards away, with iPad-produced music at the tables and student "specials" timed to hit the teens as they leave school.
The team proposing Belmont's next restaurant will be seeking a Special Permit under the town's bylaws to operate a fast food restaurant on the site. The application will come before both the Zoning Board of Appeals in January 2013 and will need a Site Plan Review from the Planning Board.
Todd Giatrelis of Taylor Road – just a hop, skip and jump from the proposed location – and his partner, venture capitalist and Floridian Richard Ferrelli (who owns property on Bright Road), believe B Town Burgers provides "a much-needed option for the local Belmont customer looking for a fresh organic, family-friendly burger and sandwich restaurant without having to leave Belmont" according to documents submitted to the town.
The hockey-playing Giatrelis is currently a partner in a new franchise business venture called Flip Flop Shops which sells sandals and casual footwear almost exclusively in locations where you can wear them year round. He also is a partner in Sound Lion in Harvard Square.
But a good part of Giatrelis' background and experience is in food; he was the owner and ran a retail and restaurant recruting and consulting business, The Gates Group, that placed general and kitchen managers and chefs to businesses and consulted on site selection and menu development.
The team will focus on "neighboring communities within walking distance of the restaurant" with a concentration on families and students" as the restaurant will be "a healthy upbeat and user friendly" alternative to restaurants outside of Belmont's borders.
The menu will be a selection of burgers including grass-fed beef, turkey and veggie along with a rotation of soups, skewers of beef, chicken and seafood, tacos (beef, chicken and fish) sandwiches and salads. And what burger joint doesn't have milk shakes.
Read what is being proposed on the menu at B Town Kitchen on this webpage.
The owners will also be seeking a beer and wine license to provide craft beer and wine at the location.
B Town is an update of Mel's with free WiFi, an "app" that will allow online ordering and iPad tablets at each table for customers to choose their own music to play throughout the restaurant. And there will be room for acoustic musicians.
The partners are seeking to operate the location from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. with student specials from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and a children's menu.
The operation expects to hire up to 11 employees.
The restaurant plans to use the existing 25 parking spaces allowed for the entire space – 20 spaces in the site and five on the street. The partners also note that any overflow parking can be handled with "ample parking on Concord Avenue" and they will contact with Beth El Temple Center on renting spaces there.