Burger Joint, which started out small in Midtown 10 years ago, has grown into a city favorite and has now expanding into the Greenwich Village. Zagat editor James Mulcahy filed the following report.
33 West 8th Street, Manhattan
The 2013 Zagat guide says Burger Joint has the city's best burgers, and now the restaurant has a new branch in the West Village.
Founder Steven Pipes first launched his concept over 10 years ago, in the lobby of the Midtown's high-end Le Parker Meridien Hotel. Guests still line up to this day for the inexpensive and juicy patty.
"In Midtown Manhattan there really wasn’t a good burger. I like burgers; I live there. Let's create a really good burger joint. People thought we were a little bit nuts. For us it was something fun," Pipes says. "From that, we went for 10 years and have really grown into a huge success."
Located on Eighth Street, the new location has the same exact burger and the iconic neon sign, but the space is much larger and will soon have a full bar.
"One day we said, 'You know, everybody people keeps talking about this and so many people have jumped on our bandwagon and done well with it. We thought, why don't we venture out ourselves?" Pipes says. "We instantly walked in and said, 'This is the spot.' It's street-level and is part of a neighborhood."
This burger has been ranked as Zagat's number-one patty in New York City for a few years in a row. The dish finds its success in sticking to the basics.
"The burger is really special because of the meat. We source it from Nebraska, it's butchered here, it's ground, it's freshly made every single day," Pipes says.
Extras like milkshakes, brownies and fries are also available. If this outpost proves as popular as the first, diners likely won't have to wait another 10 years for more locations to appear.
"We're going to do what feels right. If this one works as well as we hope it does, we will look at maybe doing another one here in the city. We also are thinking of some other East Coast cities and maybe international," Pipes says. "A lot of people have approached us, and when it feels right and it's the right people, then we'll do it."