Entrepreneurs of ZZQ and Ardent are flipping into the burger business

New burger joint opening in Richmond

Russell Cook, Chris Fultz, Alex Graf and Tom Sullivan in entrance of the potential home of Eazzy Burger. (Mike Platania picture)

There is a reunion brewing in Scott’s Addition.

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

The 2,100-square-foot constructing is not much from in which ZZQ entrepreneurs and few Alex Graf and Chris Fultz debuted their barbecue as a weekly pop-up on Ardent’s grounds in 2015 prior to opening their individual brick-and-mortar cafe around the corner at 3201 W. Moore St. in 2018.

In the decades since ZZQ’s residency at the brewery, Ardent co-proprietor Tom Sullivan claimed they in no way could very get the ideal foodstuff setup at the brewery. It was by no means rather the exact same without having ZZQ.

“We’d struggled with meals vans and obtaining a good quality food items choice more than the yrs. It was hard to get the (food trucks) we genuinely preferred, as often as we wanted them,” Sullivan said, introducing that they also commenced giving their very own in-property sandwich menu in summer season 2020.

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

“We go through a good deal of beef scrap that becomes beef grind which then goes into our sausages. Above the many years we’ve experimented with burgers fairly a little bit and have created some damn superior burgers,” Fultz stated.

“I’ve personally thought that if (Graf) and I wished to do an additional restaurant, it would not be one more barbecue restaurant, it would be a right burger joint…We never see ourselves performing fine dining or anything at all like that. We’re going to do a thing comfy and straightforward.”

The notion for Eazzy Burger was born, with Graf, Fultz and Sullivan as co-entrepreneurs. ZZQ culinary director Russell Cook dinner will also take the identical purpose at the burger joint.

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

Operate to convert the garage into a restaurant began in the latest weeks, and the burger joint’s eyeing a late July or early August opening. Fultz & Singh Architects, the company at which Fultz is a companion, is building it. Chopper Dawson Inc. is the general contractor.

Ardent owns the constructing as section of its compound, which it purchased 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 likely to be rather very simple, probably 4 signature burgers but also create-your-personal,” Graf explained. “We also want to do some exploration into cheese fries.” She extra they’ll also have vegetarian alternatives, a chicken sandwich and meatless burger choices.

Fultz mentioned Eazzy Burger’s offerings will be priced someplace amongst that of a boutique burger cafe and a chain like Five Men.

“ZZQ is not the most inexpensive choice when it will come to barbecue but which is simply because we use the greatest-excellent proteins, as properly as in our sides. There’s a great deal of really hard do the job and enjoy that goes into each solitary detail in this article,” Fultz mentioned.

“We do not believe that’ll translate directly to the burger market. You never want to pay back an arm and a leg for a burger. We never see it as a boutique burger spot at all, so you’re not having to pay $14-$15.”

Hunting forward, Graf, Fultz and Sullivan say they might not stop with just a single Eazzy Burger.

“We wished the manufacturer to be recognizable as an extension of what we’ve produced here (at ZZQ),” Fultz said. “We realized that we wanted this to be a launching off point to do a opportunity tiny chain of dining establishments. Surely in Richmond but also the point out of Virginia and further than someday.”

The options for Eazzy Burger were to start with noted by Richmond Journal.