We noted a year ago how several burger chains from elsewhere in the country were making inroads in the Northern California market, including Five Guys, The Counter, Umami Burger, and Smashburger. Now, we’re coming up on a perfect storm of chain burgers closer to the city proper. The Denver-based Smashburger has five leases signed, as the Chron reports today, including the Potrero Safeway plaza at 2300 16th Street. Forbes named them America’s Most Promising Company two years ago, and they’ve already opened over 200 locations in the last six years.
The first local branch will be in Mill Valley, next door to Whole Foods at 745 East Blithedale Avenue. And they’ll also be opening one in Novato, two in San Jose, and five to seven more in the greater Bay Area next year.
Meanwhile, there are Umami Burgers opening in Palo Alto and Oakland with possibly another to come, and thirteen locations already in Southern California with six planned for New York City. Five Guys is now in Burlingame, Hayward, and Pleasant Hill. Habit Burger has opened locations in Sunnyvale, San Mateo, Walnut Creek, and Pleasanton. And The Counter has invaded Palo Alto, San Mateo, and Walnut Creek as well.
So yeah, a glut of burgers. Super Duper and In-N-Out better watch out.