Local officials and the Great Neck Chamber of Commerce welcomed retro burger joint Cheeburger Cheeburger to Great Neck Thursday night, holding a ribbon cutting at the restaurant’s Gardens Shopping Center storefront.
The restaurant serves a wide array of fries, shakes and fresh-cooked burgers in a 1950s style. Vintage rock and roll plays out of a jukebox, pink neon lights line the walls and a life-size cut out of Frank Sinatra greets visitors as they walk in the door.
“I was always looking for an opportunity to open my own restaurant,” said owner Brett Frank. “It’s a great concept. It’s all about kids and families.”
Frank, who lives in Syosset with his wife Lisa and his two sons, worked on Wall Street before buying the franchise. The restaurant is the 13th Cheeburger Cheeburger in New York and the 63rd overall, according to Frank.
“I know the area very well,” Frank said. “What we loved about Great Neck is there are so many families.”
Business has been “phenomenal” since Cheeburger opened in April, Frank said.
Frank said he has worked to make the restaurant a neighborhood hangout, where youth sports teams from across the North Shore might gather after games.
“We intend to put jerseys up from all the public schools,” Frank said.
The restaurant also hosts fundraisers for community groups, where 20 percent of a night’s sales are donated to organizations ranging from school organizations to charities.
“We’ll work with schools, churches, temples… that can come in here and do a fundraiser,” Frank said. “It’s a great way for us to give back to the community.”
The menu offers plenty of options – dozens of shake flavors, and over 20 toppings that customers are encouraged to mix and match, Frank said.
Frank’s favorite choice? The “serious burger” – a half pound patty – topped with guacamole, sauteed mushrooms, chipotle mayonnaise, cheddar cheese and two onion rings.
If that’s not serious enough, bolder customers can take on Cheeburger’s Famous Pounder – a 20-ounce burger that, if finished, secures a customer’s photo on the restaurant’s bulletin board.
And Great Neck’s burger aficionados do not seem intimidated. Nine months after opening, the board is almost full.
The ribbon-cutting was attended by Great Neck Plaza Mayor Jean Celender, trustees from Great Neck Plaza and the village of Great Neck, Chamber of Commerce President Hooshang Nematzadeh, and other local officials.