Tremendous construction activity is happening at 38 Danbury Road in Ridgefield as the micro-chain Bareburger is slated to open in mid-November, bringing a wide variety of meats, toppings and, for those looking for a little less in the calorie-count, salads. In 2009 after receiving rave reviews preparing hamburgers in the kitchen of Sputnik, an underground music haunt in Brooklyn, Euripides Pelekanos founded Bareburger in an Astoria, Queens’ storefront. After bringing his winning formula to thirteen additional NYC locations, Bareburger is now expanding into Connecticut with its first Nutmeg State location in Ridgefield with a second slated for opening in Stamford in mid-2014.
In an exclusive interview with CTbites, Pelekanos explained his philosophy and vision as Bareburger expands from its single Astoria location into a regional micro-chain.
“I want all of my products to be organic or as close to organic as possible. From the meat to the toppings to the salads, I want natural or organic; that is my personal preference; that is what I eat.” With organic producers Albert’s Organic, Blackwing Quality Meats and Rick’s Picks already in the food chain, Pelekanos is now interested in developing relationships with local farms. The Bareburger brand represents products that are “free of hormones, pesticides and other unsavory elements.”
During our conversation, Pelekanos’ passion and his desire to present a consistent, high quality product was evident, “You can trace back where our food comes from.” After the ground hamburger meat arrives, a secret spice mixture is added and patties formed on-site. Customers will choose from a traditional beef patty or opt for one of the exotic choices…elk, lamb, wild boar, ostrich, and bison; each is prepared to order. The beef patties are a six ounce blend of chuck and short rib. “When we were testing for the perfect size, we felt that seven ounces were too large and five ounces too small.” In addition, vegetarian options include a quinoa, black bean or mushroom patty.
Each patty is served on one of five different rolls or wraps, topped with the customer’s choice of six cheeses, four bacons, twelve sauces and other assorted toppings that include greens, onion(s), avocado, grilled pineapple, roasted red peppers, or numerous other options. Bareburger offers sides of onion rings, fries, several varieties of pickles, sweet potato croqs and zucchini sticks. The menu includes eleven different salads and six sandwich combinations and each location might serve beer and wine, with a limited selection of organic vodka, tequila and rum available. Soda is supplied by Maine Root Hand Crafted Beverages, all organic, and sweetened with Fair Trade Certified Organic Evaporated Cane Juice.
The two groundbreaking Connecticut locations are owned by Ridgefield residents, Don Sturges and Truitt Bell. Pelekanos told CTbites, “I was looking for partners with deep ties to the community” and Sturges and Truitt were perfect choices. Overseeing the day-to-day operations will be a third Ridgefield resident and Don’s son, Chris. The owners’ passion was evident as they described their vision, “Bareburger provides a fun, eco-conscious environment for everyone to enjoy. The diverse menu offers delicious options suiting a vast range of dietary preferences, plus, enticing choices for the exotic, adventurous palate.”
With over 300,000 burgers prepared and enjoyed in 2013, Bareburger is slated to be a success and a great addition to the burger choices of Fairfield County. Stay tuned as CTbites follows the opening of Bareburger in a few weeks.
Bareburger 38 Danbury Road, Ridgefield
(Stamford location coming soon)