Industry News | April 21, 2017

Colorado-Based Larkburger Opens First Out-of-State Store

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Colorado-based Larkburger, the 10-year-old burger concept known for its unwavering obsession with offering high-quality, craveable American favorites, announced today its first location outside of Colorado will open on April 25, in Overland Park, Kansas. The new Larkburger, will be located within Corbin Park Retail Village at 13611 Metcalf Ave. (135th & Metcalf Avenue).

To celebrate the opening, Larkburger will host a green ribbon cutting at 11 a.m. hosted by the burger concept’s CEO, Todd Coerver; COO, Wayne Humphrey; and local dignitaries. Additionally, the new restaurant will be handing out free ‘Burgers On Us’ cards to the first 50 guests who make a purchase on opening day for use on their next visit, as well as hosting a drawing for one lucky patron to win free burgers for a year (52 Burgers On Us cards). Born from a fine-dining chef with a dream to bring Culinary to the People, the new Larkburger will feature the same beloved menu available at all 12 Colorado locations, including a signature selection of flavorful burgers, fries, salads and shakes, all made using classic culinary techniques.

“We could not be more excited to share our love for the art of cooking with the people of Kansas City,” says Coerver. “We understand the passion this town has for better, flavorful food done right at a fair price. Every item on the menu is prepared with great thought and intention that we believe people here will enjoy and truly appreciate.”

Larkburger has adopted an equally thoughtful approach to expansion, opting to grow one company-owned unit at a time to ensure that each location meets the highest standards for quality for which the brand is known. Though the Corbin Park location is Larkburger’s first unit outside of Colorado, the company has plans to continue expansion in the Kansas City region.

In 1999, the “Larkburger” was first featured on the menu at renowned Chef Thomas Salamunuovich’s fine dining Larkspur Restaurant in Vail, Colo. Made with a ⅓-lb natural beef patty, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and house made sauce served on a brioche-style bun, the Larkburger became an instant hit. Inspired by its enthusiastic following over the years, Salamunuovich recognized his fine-dining burger might be appreciated by a broader audience if served up in a casual, more approachable environment. So, in 2006, Salamunuovich and co-founder Adam Baker set out on a mission to bring the hallmarks of fine dining to the masses by creating a menu of American favorites using premium ingredients in savory and sophisticated flavor combinations, prepared using classic cooking techniques. The resulting Larkburger restaurant was born on December 9, 2006, in Edwards, Colorado, providing families access to a chef-driven, culinary experience in a casual setting with a menu that redefined the fast-casual burger experience.

“Today we still uphold our founders’ genuine love for the art of cooking and the belief that everyone deserves access to fine dining flavors without having to endure the fine dining price tag,” says Tony Friel, director of culinary operations and development at Larkburger. “We take pride in everything from sourcing our ingredients, to using classic culinary techniques, to delivering Culinary to the People.”

The Larkburger menu is a simple, straightforward menu featuring authentic flavors, crafted with care to create a unique fast-casual dining experience. The burger concept is best known for its burgers, all made to order and with enough variety to fit into dietary preferences, including vegetarian and gluten-free options. The seven classic burger options include the signature Larkburger (black angus beef, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and house sauce), Chicken Burger (adobo grilled chicken breast, crispy jalapenos, lettuce, tomato, onion, fresh cilantro and chipotle sauce), Tuna Burger (grilled sushi-grade ahi tuna steak, lettuce, tomato, onion, fresh cilantro and wasabi-ginger dressing) and the vegetarian Portabella Burger (roasted portabella mushroom, lettuce, tomato, griddled onion and house sauce), among other options.

To match the dedication the Larkburger team has for providing an exceptional burger experience, the menu also features a culinary-inspired menu of sides, including a Chopped Kale Salad (kale, carrot, cucumber, red onion, soybean, cilantro, sesame seed and miso-ginger vinaigrette), Rocket Power Salad (organic greens and rocket lettuce blend, quinoa, carrot, cucumber, red onion, chickpeas and housemade vinaigrette), and a Caesar Salad (green leaf lettuce, garlic-parmesan bread, crispy jalapenos, with Larkspur’s Caesar dressing). Larkburger’s signature sides include its Fries, both Classic (hand cut, skin-on Russet potatoes) or Truffle & Parmesan (tossed with grated Parmesan, Italian parsley and black truffle sea salt), Edamame (soybeans in the pod with sea salt), and Black Angus Red Chili (Black Angus beef, crema, onion and cilantro, served with masa chips).

No meal is complete without a Milkshake, made-to-order with all-natural Boulder Ice Cream in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and seasonal flavors. Blue Sky natural fountain drinks, lemonade, wine and locally sourced craft beers are also available.

The new restaurant is approximately 2,400 square feet and will seat 75 people. The clean, contemporary interior design features reclaimed Cypress timber throughout, chairs made from 100 percent recycled material, a large community table and complimentary WiFi. The restaurant will be led by general manager, Austin Fearing, and assistant general manager, Gentry Walker, both of whom are from Kansas City originally and will be relocating back home from Colorado. Forty people have been hired locally to staff the restaurant.

Larkburger is committed to Keeping It Natural, continuing its eco-friendly practices in Kansas City through the use of all-natural ingredients; bottle and can recycling; and the utilization of sustainable, recyclable and renewable materials. The concept is also actively looking to partner with a local, commercial composting business to continue its commitment to composting most materials, packaging and waste from the restaurant.

“We are committed to better food and a better environment,” adds Coerver. “We believe our restaurant environment represents our greater obligation to protecting our global environment, so we go to great lengths to demonstrate our commitment to sustainability, from having the smallest trash bins in the restaurant business, to using reclaimed Cypress and compostable packaging, to offsetting our energy use with wind credits.”

Larkburger regularly gives back to the neighborhoods surrounding its restaurants, and the team is eager to find ways to become a meaningful part of the Kansas City community. To continue its opening celebrations, the new restaurant will host a Guest Appreciation Day on Saturday, June 3 from 3-8 p.m. The festivities will include family-friendly activities, like face painting and games, as well as menu and drink specials and a benefit night with 50 percent of total sales going to a yet-to-be-announced local organization. Stay up-to-date on details of the celebration by signing up for the Larkburger newsletter on the concept’s website.

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.