Owners of ZZQ and Ardent are flipping into the burger business

Russell Cook, Chris Fultz, Alex Graf and Tom Sullivan in front of the long term property of Eazzy Burger. (Mike Platania picture)

There’s a reunion brewing in Scott’s Addition.

The homeowners of Ardent Craft Ales and barbecue joint ZZQ are teaming up to open up Eazzy Burger in a garage adjacent to Ardent’s beer backyard at 3200 W. Leigh St.

The 2,100-square-foot developing is not significantly from the place ZZQ house owners and pair Alex Graf and Chris Fultz debuted their barbecue as a weekly pop-up on Ardent’s grounds in 2015 just before opening their very own brick-and-mortar cafe around the corner at 3201 W. Moore St. in 2018.

In the years since ZZQ’s residency at the brewery, Ardent co-owner Tom Sullivan explained they by no means could really get the correct foods setup at the brewery. It was never ever pretty the exact without having ZZQ.

“We’d struggled with foodstuff trucks and getting a high-quality foodstuff option around the yrs. It was hard to get the (foods vans) we genuinely wished, as frequently as we wanted them,” Sullivan explained, adding that they also commenced providing their very own in-property sandwich menu in summertime 2020.

Sullivan eventually connected with his neighbors at ZZQ, who’d been workshopping some burger recipes on the side.

“We go by a lot of beef scrap that turns into beef grind which then goes into our sausages. Around the several years we’ve experimented with burgers rather a bit and have created some damn good burgers,” Fultz explained.

“I’ve individually imagined that if (Graf) and I wanted to do one more restaurant, it would not be one more barbecue restaurant, it would be a good burger joint…We do not see ourselves undertaking great dining or nearly anything like that. We’re heading to do a little something snug and uncomplicated.”

The idea for Eazzy Burger was born, with Graf, Fultz and Sullivan as co-owners. ZZQ culinary director Russell Cook dinner will also get the exact job at the burger joint.

A rendering of Eazzy Burger, which programs to open up this summer season. (Courtesy of Fultz & Singh Architects)

Do the job to transform the garage into a cafe began in modern months, and the burger joint’s eyeing a late July or early August opening. Fultz & Singh Architects, the business at which Fultz is a lover, is planning it. Chopper Dawson Inc. is the common contractor.

Ardent owns the creating as component of its compound, which it acquired in 2017, and had been using the garage for storage.

Eazzy Burger will provide what Graf describes as “pseudo-smash burgers” with patties weighing in at 5 ounces.

“The menu’s going to be somewhat very simple, perhaps 4 signature burgers but also construct-your-personal,” Graf reported. “We also want to do some exploration into cheese fries.” She additional they’ll also have vegetarian possibilities, a hen sandwich and meatless burger selections.

Fultz claimed Eazzy Burger’s offerings will be priced somewhere involving that of a boutique burger restaurant and a chain like Five Guys.

“ZZQ is not the most economical selection when it comes to barbecue but that’s because we use the maximum-high-quality proteins, as effectively as in our sides. There is a great deal of tough work and adore that goes into each one thing here,” Fultz stated.

“We really do not believe that’ll translate specifically to the burger market. You don’t want to spend an arm and a leg for a burger. We really don’t see it as a boutique burger position at all, so you are not having to pay $14-$15.”

Looking forward, Graf, Fultz and Sullivan say they may perhaps not quit with just a single Eazzy Burger.

“We preferred the manufacturer to be recognizable as an extension of what we have created in this article (at ZZQ),” Fultz stated. “We understood that we required this to be a launching off position to do a probable smaller chain of eating places. Absolutely in Richmond but also the state of Virginia and further than sometime.”

The plans for Eazzy Burger had been to start with described by Richmond Magazine.

Candice Cearley

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