BT People

Hip, new burger concept comes from Portland


Aug. 14. More details about the new Little Big Burger in Cornelius are coming out in short order. Burgers will be served made to order and wrapped to  go—no plates—but there will be seating for about 40 people. The homemade ketchup is delicious, and they spell it catsup.

The fast-casual restaurant will open sometime in September, says manager Robert Trevillian. One weekday during opening week, the burgers will be, mmm, free.

Little Big Burger features high-quality ingredients like Certified Angus beef burgers and Tillamook brand cheese and ice cream. Tummy busters include Tillamook ice cream for root beer floats, truffle-oil fries and veggie burgers that are both vegan and gluten-free. A heads up about the burgers: They look small at first, but they’re extra thick and dense.

The 1,600-square foot restaurant will be open 11 am to 9 pm Sunday through Thursday, until 10 Friday and Saturday. Manager

There are 15 Little Big Burger stores with the chain in the midst of doubling in size. The owners  in Cornelius are Chanticleer Holdings, a Charlotte-based fast-casual restaurant chain with a national footprint and Denny Hamlin, who lives four or five million dollars west in a 40,000 square foot lakefront abode. Chanticleer owns, operates, and franchises fast, casual, and full-service restaurant brands, including American Burger Company, BGR – Burgers Grilled Right, Little Big Burger, Just Fresh and Hooters.

Founded in Portland, Ore. in 2010, Little Big Burger serves fresh, high quality cooked-to-order burgers, truffle fries and root beer floats, always in a hip atmosphere. Little Big Burger was started by prolific restaurateurs Micah Camden and Katie Poppe who recognized the need for a gourmet burger in a fast-casual environment. They developed a cult-like following and in 2015 sold the Little Big Burger concept to Chanticleer.

Under Chanticleer’s ownership, Little Big Burger has opened additional locations in places like Seattle, Austin and Southern California, which means Cornelius—and Highland Creek in Charlotte—must be somewhat hip. In fact, the Cornelius location is a joint venture with race car driver Denny Hamlin, who is expected to make a personal appearance around the opening.

Chanticleer had $41 million in revenue last year.

Mike Pruitt, Chanticleer CEO, said the deal with Hamlin also includes an option for an additional nine potential future locations.

Pruittsays the burger business is sizzling. “It is Americana,” Pruitt says, explaining that 29 percent of every dollar spent eating out is a burger.


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