The chain burger boom shows no sign of abating.
Following such recent arrivals as Shake Shack, Zinburger, Bobby's Burger Palace, Burger Monger, Elevation, and Smashburger (and the impending deals to import Bareburger and Good Stuff Eatery), the Philly area is in line to get as many as five locations of Wahlburgers.
That's the up-and-coming Boston-area burger bar fronted by brothers Mark, Donnie and Paul Wahlberg. It's also the subject of an A&E reality series, Wahlburgers. Filming on 18 additional episodes for its second season is due to begin this spring at the location, at Hingham Shipyard (that's "HING-em SHIP-yahd").
The company, opening additional locations in Boston and Toronto, is hot for Rittenhouse Square as its first Philly location, says the local rep, Artie Giordano, a native Philadelphian who as a kid worked at Palumbo's and at Le Bec-Fin as a busboy before developing restaurants for Atlantic City casinos (including Mia's at Caesars). Giordano is a longtime associate of Wahlburgers CEO Rick Vanzura.
Giordano told me that the goal is to open the first location by the end of the summer. All restaurants will have both eat-in and take-out service and full bars. Menus include made-to-order beef burgers, all-beef hot dogs, fries, onion rings, tater tots and frappes.
Vanzura told me that the first Philadelphia location would get a piece of local lore from the Hingham location: a poster from the movie Invincible, in which Mark Wahlberg starred as Eagles walk-on Vince Papale. It was shot here.
Sites in the burbs (King of Prussia, Cherry Hill and Christiana Mall in Delaware) also are bring considered.
The company is working with CBRE/Fameco.