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A good restaurant doesn’t just make your mouth happy. It makes you feel happy before your food even hits the plate. That’s why Chef Dane DeMarco is putting the fun between the bun with their new restaurant Burgertime, a delicious and colorful ode to burgers as a pop culture icon. Burgertime, a joint venture between the chef and their sister Dannett Monoyios, will open in the middle of December at 123 West Merchant St. in Audubon, NJ serving burgers and hot dogs with unique toppings as well as tots and soft-serve ice cream.
Burgertime, inspired by the 80s arcade game, will be outfitted in bright, cheerful colors and metals for an electronic/arcade nostalgic kind of vibe.
“The idea comes from the video game I played as a kid. So, I’m playing off, one, a video game and, two, all things burgers that people know, like Bob’s Burgers,” DeMarco told What Now Philadelphia.
When you walk into Burgertime, you’ll spot a countertop will some seating, as well as an open kitchen where customers get to watch all the action for that classic burger joint feel. Burgertime will serve a menu of signature 5 oz. seared burgers, which come in a choice of beef, chicken, vegan, or vegetarian, and hot dogs, which can also be served as a plant-based dog, and a build-your-own option.
DeMarco, the executive chef at Sonny’s Cocktail Joint in Philly and the former exec chef at the American Sardine Bar and South Philly Tap Room, started Burgertime as a pop-up at South Philly Tap Room during the pandemic. They came up with the idea after making 102 different hot dogs with extravagant toppings like blooming onion petals, cheddar, A1 and comeback sauce. The revelation that “Oh, this could be something” led DeMarco to look for Burgertime’s permanent location in their own town.
“It was fun for me to see how versatile a hot dog can be and how many weird and quirky toppings you can do. I wanted to transfer it to burger toppings and just make it completely fun. We’re going to have great locally sourced products but put some fun into it,” DeMarco said.
Burgertime still has some renovation work that needs to be done before it opens this winter Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. DeMarco, who will take on a culinary consulting role at Sonny’s and with Hawthornes Restaurant Group, plans to host at least one more pop-up before Burgertime’s official opening. You can keep a lookout for that on Instagram @burgertimenj.