You may have heard about a new hamburger joint coming to Edmonds. Not that one. When Dick Spady of turned the first shovel in advance of its opening this fall on SR 99, camera-snapping media and enarmored elected officials seemed to outnumber ordinary citizens.
But there’s another hamburger place opening before Dick’s, and it’s right downtown. The appropriately named Main Street Burgers is scheduled to open before the middle of July, says general manager Joe Bellingham. Applications for cashiers and cooks can be found on the website.
When Dick’s opens, there will be four indie hamburger restaurants in Edmonds where at the beginning of last year there was just one, , as well as national chains , and . opened in May 2010.
But only Main Street Burgers and Hamburger Harry’s are downtown.
Bellingham welcomes the competition and feels his restaurant near the high-profile Edmonds fountain will fill a niche with its central location and low prices.
“We’re definitely not high end,” said Bellingham. “We are going with a cheaper menu. Right now, people don’t want to spend $9 on a burger. They want to spend $3 or $4 on a good burger. So we’re going to provide a good product at a low price.”
Cheaper burgers doesn’t mean bad burgers, said Bellingham. A newly purchased meat grinder will ground out fresh patties daily. Fries, onion rings and other side orders will also be made fresh daily. The menu also includes homemade dipping sauce, hot dogs (the Hound Dog and Polish Hound), hand-dipped shakes and ice cream.
In fact, some of Main Street Burger’s daily preparation will happen next door at the venerable , established in 1925 in the Lemley Building. Today, that’s where Bellingham’s father, Ken Bellingham, has served area residents for 18 years and where Joe—who is 26, Meadowdale High class of 2003—learned about the restaurant business.
Main Street Burgers isn’t the Bellinghams’ first venture at the site, which the family owns at 414 Main St. For eight months in 2008 and 2009, the address was the home of Sandy B’s, a ’50s-style sit-down restaurant named for Joe’s mom and Ken’s wife, Sandy Bellingham.
“It wasn’t that it didn’t do well,” said Joe Bellingham about Sandy B’s quick closure. “We just had lot of problems with employees and finding a good cook. I was cooking for a while while helping dad next door at the bakery.”
But the Bellingham family was determined to open another venture at the site, which is well-known for its marquee-style, V-shaped sign out front. It’s a local landmark, in fact. According to , Patch columnist and chairman of the Edmonds Historical Preservation Commission, about seven years ago it was Edmonds West Tavern. It was vacant for years before Sandy B’s opened.
Joe Bellingham, after studying burger restaurants nationwide, put together a business plan for a burger store with fast and courteous service, which he compares to Seattle-based burger chain Kidd Valley and the national chain Five Guys Burgers, which has three locations in Puget Sound.
“You order and get your bag,” said Bellingham, who added that hamburger buns will be made next door. “You can take it to go or sit down. We’re all about getting the food out as fast as possible. That was one of things Sandy B’s had a problem with. You go to New York and it’s like a whole other world. I want to bring the East Coast style (of fast service) over here.”
Those who do eat inside will notice that Main Street Burgers looks much like Sandy B’s did, done up ’50s-style with old-time posters and pictures, décor and life-size statues of Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe.
As for the burgers, Bellingham says he will start slow with just a few selections, expanding the menu in coming months. They include the Joe Cool veggie burger; the Big Mike, a half-pound “monster burger” named after Bellingham’s brother; the Main Street Burger; and one for kids, the All American burger.
There will be several kinds of hand-cut french fries: regular, garlic-parmesan, Cajun, sweet potato, mushroom and zucchini. Bellingham describes them as a cross between steak fries and thin fries.
So, Edmonds, get ready to belly up to a bevy of hamburger joints. Bellingham says there’s room for enough fo all.
“I grew up on Dick’s,” he said. “I’ve lived (in Puget Sound) my whole life and I’m a big fan. Hamburger Harry’s is something a little bit different. They are a bar and a family restaurant. Main Street Burgers, we’re just going to be all about burgers.”