After a few months of delays, the Gourmet Burger Shop opened Friday in its new downtown Gig Harbor location.
Owner Travis Hightower has been working on the space all year (it was previously occupied by Le Bistro before a fire closed that restaurant in 2010).
In April, Hightower closed his first hole-in-the-wall burger shop. That spot always felt a mismatch - a painfully tiny roadside spot serving upscale burgers, shoestring garlic-herb fries and beet chips that seemed as if they’d be more at home on Sixth Avenue than a remote location beyond the Purdy Spit. Despite the location, Hightower found success - and crowds.
When Hightower opened the Gourmet Burger Shop just over two years ago, he planned on flipping 50 burgers a day, but wound up producing four times more. A septic tank and other building limitations prevented him from expanding at that site. He decided to relocate to the edge of a waterfront dining district that hosts an endless stream of traffic during summer months.
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A quick trip to the new restaurant this weekend found a business overwhelmed - lines were long, the waits extended 30 minutes or more. The space is bigger, but still small. It looked to seat only around 30-something diners at six tables and a small dine-in counter.
I’d advise waiting a few weeks to let the restaurant settle into its new digs.
First time visitors: If you've never paid a visit to the Gourmet Burger Shop, what you'll find is a restaurant serving burgers in bold flavor combinations made with high-quality ingredients. They're more expensive than you'll pay at a typical burger joint, but less expensive than the sit-down competition.
What I found were the same polished burgers served on buns made by Gig Harbor’s 3 Clouds Bakery. If the buns seem smaller, that’s not your imagination - they are. The burger patties are still hand formed and come with a mighty high grease-to-meat ratio (I mean that in the nicest possible way - these are appropriately greasy gut bombs). Prices also have increased to $10 for a burger basket, which comes with a choice of sides. Shoestring garlic-herb fries and beet chips - both hand cut in house - remain my favorite. See the menu below for more choices. I stuck with my two favorite burgers - the bacon cheeseburger made with caramelized onions and shredded white cheddar and a Gorgonzola avocado burger. Both were dressed with spring greens on those glossy buns topped with black sesame seeds.
Things to know: Shakes made with real ice cream, and even an adult shake on the menu (check below for the menus). Also, vegetarians don't get ripped off here with a lame Boca burger. The vegetarian burger is an elevated number with a grilled potato patty, topped with pesto, chevre, mixed greens and truffle mayo.
Gourmet Burger ShopWhere: 4120 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor, 253-858-5205, Facebook hereHours: None are posted on the Facebook page, call to check