Many readers will remember the Hawaiian Breeze restaurant which closed a couple of years ago followed, shortly thereafter, by Shima Sushi which was owned by the same people. Now, the Breeze space will finally be occupied once again, this time by a new hamburger restaurant called Wallyburger.
Wallyburger is the newest business of long-time Wallingford resident Gary Reynolds. Indulging his interest in music, Reynolds opened the Electrokitty Recording Studio, and is owner of the Revolver Bar on Capitol Hill. While the Electrokitty’s name makes no secret of its purpose, you would be quite mistaken if you thought Revolver was gun themed. This is actually a reference to vinyl records (which, if I need to point it out, revolve). Guests are invited to, “Sit back, order up a hot sandwich and a bevvy and sink into an entire album side, the way the artist intended it to be heard.”
In opening Wallyburger, Reynolds seeks to fill a hole he perceives in the Wallingford food scene. I know that when I get home from a grueling trip in the mountains, fats and starches are what my body craves, and burgers (or pizza) are what I typically turn to. Sure, we’ve got Dick’s and Kidd Valley, but I also want a beer and someplace comfortable to sit down. So, I often find myself heading over to Giddy Up Burgers or Uneeda Burger. If we had a place like those right here in the ‘hood, I’d save myself the drive.
Enter Wallyburger. Reynolds plans to serve, “Nice, upscale burgers, but not too pricey.” Expect something comparable to Giddy Up or Uneeda, but “not as rustic.” Diners will first order at the counter, then be served at tables. (There will be seating for about 30 persons, and takeout will be available.)
While Reynolds will not be cooking the burgers (that duty and honor will fall to the person who helped him get the kitchen off the ground at Revolver), he sees his role as being informed by lifelong study, admiration and consumption of the great American hamburger. And he has some definite thoughts on what a good burger should – and should not – be. “We’re going to serve burgers that fit in your hands,” he says, deriding tiny burgers stacked so high that they look like Amazon Echoes. As for buns, don’t expect to see focaccia or French bread bracketing a Wallyburger. “We’re going to use hamburger buns. Because it’s a hamburger!” The meat will come from grass-fed beef lightly spiced Texas-style. And while the menu is still being designed, expect to see a chicken, fish and Portobello burger as well as a vegan Beyond Meat burger. Seattle Soda, some beers on tap and a side salad will round out the menu.
Hungry? You’ll have to hold out a little longer. Reynolds anticipates opening in early June.