BurgerFi brings fresh variety to downtown Kennesaw
by Rachel Miller
July 17, 2013 12:11 AM | 7255 views | 13 13 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BurgerFi owner Michael Diamond offers area residents a whole menu of all-natural, farm-raised beef, specialty hot dogs, fresh cut fries and onion rings, desserts and craft beers and wines inside Kennesaw’s newest downtown eatery with two levels of dining views.
BurgerFi owner Michael Diamond offers area residents a whole menu of all-natural, farm-raised beef, specialty hot dogs, fresh cut fries and onion rings, desserts and craft beers and wines inside Kennesaw’s newest downtown eatery with two levels of dining views.
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Brendan O’Brien and his wife, Shannon, took their boys, Ethan, 4, right, and Dylan, 7 months old, to BurgerFi in downtown Kennesaw for lunch with a scenic view of the historical city.
Brendan O’Brien and his wife, Shannon, took their boys, Ethan, 4, right, and Dylan, 7 months old, to BurgerFi in downtown Kennesaw for lunch with a scenic view of the historical city.
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Patrons enjoy downtown Kennesaw's newest restaurant option, BurgerFi.
Patrons enjoy downtown Kennesaw's newest restaurant option, BurgerFi.
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KENNESAW — Walking along Main Street, residents and tourists may be jolted by the sound of classic rock music and excited patrons lining up outside downtown Kennesaw’s newest restaurant.

BurgerFi opened July 10 at 2844 South Main St., next to the Trackside Grill between Watts Drive and Cherokee Street.

It brings a bit of a beach-shack vibe to contrast with the small, Southern town feel provided by the neighboring Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History.

Michael Diamond, the owner/operator of the new franchise, said the three-month construction completely renovated the 2,500-square-foot property, including floor to ceiling windows lining the street front that can slide open to create patio access.

Diamond said he expected the opening to be a slow start, but the “open-arms” reception has been quite the opposite, with lines out the door almost every day.

“I always wanted to own a hamburger joint,” Diamond said. But this is no typical burger joint.

The casual-dining restaurant offers all-natural, farm-raised beef, but is still focused on fast service, with an order being filled within eight to 10 minutes, Diamond said.

Quality and variety

With a wide range of fresh, never frozen, healthy options, the only thing missing from BurgerFi’s food is the grease.

Still, there are some juicy burgers, such as the B.A.D. (Breakfast All Day) burger with American cheese, hickory bacon drizzled with maple syrup, a fried egg, hash browns, grilled diced onion and ketchup.

Diamond said the all-natural Angus beef patties, made by hand each day, are free of antibiotics and hormones.

BurgerFi also offers a crisp veggie burger, made with quinoa, a grain-like ingredient that is high in protein and fiber, with white cheddar cheese and a multigrain bun.

Charlee Luther, 23, who works at Whole Foods in east Cobb, said as a vegetarian it’s great to have the franchise 2 miles from her home.

Besides burgers, the menu lists specialty hot dogs, including chicken or Kobe beef options, as well as pork sausage links.

Fresh-cut French fries are made to order, with a range of toppings including salt and vinegar, parmesan cheese and herbs, or hot Cajun spices.

Once patrons reach the counter, they are greeted by a large display of craft bottled beer available at the location, including local varieties from Burnt Hickory and Red Hare.

Outdoor deck seating

BurgerFi offers a hangout with a mix of rustic and modern fixtures, from the naturally stained wood panels running along the walls to the gray and red metal tables and chairs.

The Kennesaw franchise is different from the other 150 restaurants opened nationwide by the Florida-based company, including the two other metro Atlanta locations in Alpharetta and Emory Point.

The Main Street location can seat more than 90 patrons, with both indoor and outdoor seating, including a one-of-a-kind upstairs deck that Diamond said he is considering renting for events and parties.

Charlee Luther sat with her sister, Angela Luther, 22, on the patio Saturday overlooking Kennesaw’s downtown while splitting an order of fries.

Both girls said they were anxious for the new “stand out” burger joint to open, and are even more excited to see what other establishments might spring up in the area.

Diamond declined to say how much of an investment was required to start up the franchise.

According to the BurgerFi.com website, the initial investment can range from $313,750 to $627,083, including the fee paid to BurgerFi, equipment, inventory, grand-opening marketing and three months’ advance rent.

Diamond said when deciding to start this venture, he knew Kennesaw was about to revitalize its downtown and is “glad to be a part of it.”

Comments
(13)
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Needs Tweaking
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August 30, 2013
Other than Trackside, downtown Kennesaw looks like a dump. Was glad to see something new and fresh. Fi was OK, but was extremely cramped and the tiny area with the computerized drink machine was a disaster. Line to get drinks was 5-6 people deep. Old folkd and kids took forever to figure out how to work the IBM machine to get a drink. This place needs the owner to walk around and spot problems, and then correct them.
Kennesaw Res
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July 18, 2013
The owner said the lines have been out the door, the Trackside Grill is always busy. The pizza place up the street has people out sitting every time I drive by. Seems like that flag is not really bothering anyone but you Timus.
Joe Bozeman
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July 18, 2013
I had lunch there Tuesday. The burger was great, and I will go back, but only for take out. It seemed like I was in South Beach or Buckhed. The music was way too loud and not of my taste, and it was apparent this place is not intended to attract Kennesaw natives. Most people there looked normal, but the customer with green hair showing her tramp stamp off and the guy wearing a hoodie in 90 degree weather turned me off a bit. It seems like a strange place for downtown Kennesaw.. Oh well , I am just a 69 year old taxpayer who has lived in Kennesaw all my life. My old home town ain't what it used to be. Bring back the Whistle Stop Cafe .
Dale Meeks
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July 22, 2013
I am with you Joe, the burgers are good but the place is not made for long time locals or we older people. Maybe they could make it older people friendly on the bottom and more for the young on the upper deck. I wish they would bring back a breakfast lunch place that served real food back to down town. It seems the owner where the old Whistle Stop Cafe does not care about having a business in that location (Ole Town Tavern) the rent I last heard was 5K a month which is way to much for many start up restaurants. I would hope the city would apply some type of pressure to get it rented out or sold. Love your comments Joe .
Beagle Fi
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August 30, 2013
Embarrassing post fella.
Timus
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July 17, 2013
Want to know how to get more people to patronize this place and others in the area? GET RID OF THE GIANT REBEL FLAG ACROSS THE STREET!!!
Joe Bozeman
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July 18, 2013
Well Timus, get your facks straight. Those are not Rebel Flags. I guess you are referring to the flags at Wildmans Shop. They are flags of the Confederate States of America and I cannot see how they have anything to do with the BurgerFi. They are on private property and none of your business.
Dale Meeks
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July 22, 2013
Timus the flag flies in support of history . It is not intended to be racial or discriminatory but sits on a spot that was made famous during the war between the states . I know you have heard of Andrews Raiders and the Great Locomotive Chase. If you look close you will see that Old Glory Flies well above the stars and bars as it should. Kennesaw was a important part of the civil war and it's history learn to live with it.
Uptown Jim
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July 23, 2013
The Flags are part of Freedom of speech agree or disagree the owner has is well within his rights to fly the Stars and Bars (Battle Flag of the Confederacy) . I would hope you know the Constitution and the Bill of Rights of the U.S.A after all it was the U.S that won the war thus forging forever those very rights. You do not have to look at the flags just turn your chair the other way and enjoy the view of the other side of town. FREEDOM for all or FREEDOM for NONE.
Kennesaw Taxpayer
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July 17, 2013


"Diamond declined to say how much of an investment was required to start up the franchise."

I am not surprised that there is little interest in talking about money issues. The loan guarantee sorta slipped through without many people noticing the 300K City guarantee, so he probably would rather not talk about how the place was financed.

In a Dec. 17th article the Marietta Daily Journal reported in part that the City of Kennesaw:



"approved its consent agenda 4-0, which included loaning $300,000 to the Kennesaw Development Authority at 1.5 percent for 10 years to lease and develop David W. Collier’s Trackside property at 2844 S. Main St.

The authority will rent the property from Collier and sublet it at $3,000 a month to Michael Diamond of Sandy Springs-based Main Street Burger for a location of the all-natural BurgerFi franchise.

According to city documents, Diamond will invest at least $250,000 in interior work, furniture, fixtures and equipment, provide another $150,000 in operating capital, and create 25 to 35 jobs."
Joe Bozeman
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July 18, 2013
Great comment! Oh, how quickly people forget the rest of the story. This was a sweetheart deal for all involved but the taxpayers of Kennesaw.
OldWoodenbox
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July 17, 2013
Food was ok, employees were very nice. Past that I felt like I was stuck in a cross between a techno bar and a wind tunnel. The music was so loud and the exhaust fan over the door, made it impossible to be able to even think about if the food was good. The corner to get drinks, was designed by someone who has no clue how to make these things accessible. All the drinks were in a corner, no way to move people through it.

Even tho the burger was ok and the employees were great, I won't go back.
too bad
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July 17, 2013
I had heard about this place and it sounded promising. The area is in need after the (effective) loss of the Starlight Cafe (it's still open, but it's over). It's too bad they are blaring rock music. I am not interested in any noise pollution with a burger, but thank you anyway. We already have a Hard Rock cafe if we want that sort of nuisance while we eat.
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