Trapper O’Keeffe has built a mini local restaurant empire from his love of seafood.
In the next few weeks, the owner of eight popular sushi restaurants that carry his name will spin in the opposite food direction to burgers and fries.
Burche — a combination of the words burger and cheese — will open in Bonney Lake, most likely in early January.
It will operate where O’Keeffe’s Trapurito’s opened in November 2016 when his Trapper’s Sushi restaurant moved to a bigger space across the parking lot. Trapurito’s was a slight shift in concept. Instead of sushi, it served fast-service sushi burritos and poke bowls.
The concept wasn’t different enough, though.
Trapurito’s biggest competitor turned out to be himself. He closed Trapurito’s in September 2017.
“The customers loved the product and the service,” he said. “We just could not compete with Trapper’s Sushi.”
Burche will appeal to burger lovers searching for upscale food at a decent price, O’Keeffe said. He intends to start prices around $12 for a burger and fries.
Burche will center on beef burgers in a more sophisticated dining room than O’Keeffe’s typical casual sushi restaurant. The 40-seat restaurant will offer table service.
“We’re trying to go for a cozy, warm feeling,” O’Keeffe said.
The cozy interior will be punctuated by industrial-modern metal accents. The restaurant is equipped with an open kitchen.
O’Keeffe is finalizing the menu now. He’s working on a menu of 10 beef burgers built with patties made from Angus chuck and ground short rib. There also will be a portobello burger for vegetarians. A fried chicken-and-waffle burger will be on the menu as well.
Burgers will come with themes sunk deep into cheese. They’ll range from classic to unusual. One will be built with pork belly and blue cheese.
Another will be made with raclette, which not only is a cheese, but also a European dish of Swiss origin. O’Keeffe said Burche will serve raclette on the appetizer menu as it’s served throughout Europe: warmed raclette scraped onto crusty bread, potatoes and pickles.
Poutine also shows up on the appetizer menu. One version will be made with cheese curds and gravy, but with a good ol’ American cafeteria ingredient at the base — tater tots.
Aside from tater tots, there will be skins-on fries with a medium width. Truffle fries also will be on the menu.
One section of the menu is devoted to macaroni and cheese, with Dungeness crab and pork belly versions. O’Keeffe also will play around with specialty grilled cheese sandwiches.
The beverage menu will include modestly priced to upscale wines, plus beer and cider.
Burche will be open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.
Where: 20649 state Route 410 E., Bonney Lake.
Opening: January 2018, if all goes as planned.