The ICSC Blog

Bareburger: Raises The Bar in Clean Eating


Originally an underground music venue serving all-natural gourmet food, Bareburger has spent the last decade transforming into one of the fastest-expanding burger franchises in the country. The restaurant is known for its entirely organic menu of classic American fare, and is committed to serving in family-friendly, sustainable environments.

While the first Bareburger opened in New York City in 2009, Euripides Pelekanos’ simple, clean-eating concept dates back to 2002. The restaurant’s founder had just opened Sputnik, a hip Brooklyn hangout spot, with a tiny kitchen that yielded an assortment of organic burgers. Although the lounge saw success, Pelekanos realized there was a lack of cohesion between food quality and the full-bar setting. In turn, he decided to build a restaurant with similar cuisine, utilizing exclusively natural and organic ingredients.

Pelekanos had no intentions of expansion, but since Bareburger’s inception, customers cannot seem to get enough. He remarks, “We opened up a 1,000 square foot space with only 45 seats, and as soon as the welcome sign was placed on the door, it was pandemonium. There was no advertising, no marketing, but we found ourselves with a line of 100 people waiting to try out this place.”

Fast forward to present day, Bareburger has just opened its 14th restaurant, and the franchise is expecting to open another 10 in the Tri-State area this year. Bareburger is also slated for operations in New England, the Midwest, and Canada; Pelekanos is hopeful that this concept will continue to spread across the country.

In terms of potential hosting sites, Bareburger has a space criteria of 3,500-4,500 square feet. Additionally, the restaurant is toward A+ shopping centers with anchor tenants like Whole Foods or Chipotle, or malls with an Anthropology or Urban Outfitters.

While Pelekanos notes that Bareburger’s customer can be anyone, these retailers certainly reflect the restaurant’s primary base of patrons: “Individuals that are in-the-know; they live relatively hip, healthy lifestyles, and are educated about the difference between grass-fed organic and conventional beef.” Overall, the “organic” lifestyle is undoubtedly turning mainstream, and this makes Pelekanos happy. From a business standpoint, Bareburger is more likely to thrive, and in terms of customer health, it is clear that more people are investing a greater interest in the quality of food they consume.

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