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DMK Burger Bar Is Looking To Massively Expand, Well Beyond Chicago

By Stephen Gossett in Food on Sep 26, 2017 10:22PM

DMK Burger.jpg
Burger at DMK Burger Bar. Photo via Facebook.

When we ran our epic Burger Bracket earlier this year, I was gobsmacked to see DMK Burger Bar not advance beyond the second round. But that fate seems more due to a tough matchup (future overall winner Big Guys Sausage Stand) than anything else, and we and many burger lovers we know have some serious fondness for DMK. Which is why we were pleasantly intrigued to hear that the restaurant apparently plans to expand—by a huge degree of magnitude—beyond its local mini-empire.

According to a report from Eater Chicago, the owners of DMK—David Morton and Michael Kornick—have teamed up with David Grossman, the man who had a hand in pushing Subway's ubiquity, and they hope to open more than 400 locations (!) within the next decade, starting with other Illinois areas, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin before eventually branching out further still. The push could include airports (O'Hare talks are apparently forthcoming) and stadiums (that Soldier Field location now looks a lot like a bellwether move.)

From DMK's five Chicago area locations, that's obviously quite the challenging scale-up—even if they're going gradual, with Grossman floating just three new stores for next year. But if the collapse of fast-casual burger joints here in Chicago is any indicator, the market seems ripe for more premium options. And DMK's grass-fed burgers are certainly that. (Our food critic once called their so-called #1 burger his favorite in the world.)

There's more info in Eater's report here, including discussions about potential for regional variations, an Impossible Burger inclusion and franchise details. In the meantime, we'll be dreaming of better downstate burger options for our 2027 road trips.


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