They started with a music venue named Sputnik in Brooklyn’s Bed Stuy “Do or Die” back in 2002. The place was everything you can imagine: dive bar, art space, performance space, and a small kitchen the size of a closet buried off to the corner. I still remember making grass-fed burgers off those small electric grills, before it was common place. A strange thing happened, folks started coming solely for the burgers. One day, I heard a little voice in my head (actually it was my brother and friends). They said, “let’s open an organic burger place where we grew up: Astoria, Queens NYC. So after 7 years of art, music, late nights and tons of good times, the Sputnik came crashing back to Earth. From there, we took the best parts of our little joint, and brought them home.
So in 2009, we found a small run down bakery and converted it into a small 40 seat organic burger restaurant. It was right in the middle of a global recession and I can remember my father with his heavy immigrant accent saying, “who is going to pay $10 for a burger these days, are you crazy?” But with every credit card maxed out and every penny borrowed, we were on our way.
Everyone in the neighborhood thought that a group of hippies from California were opening an organic burger place. The only thing people could see from the construction site was our poster bearing our logo: a bear riding a unicycle, holding a burger and a beer.