Bishop's Stortford pizza restaurant owner hopes food fans will fall in love with his new burger bar
Restaurateur Christopher Sharman is hoping Bishop's Stortford food fans will fall in love with his second business in the town – Burger Amour.
Last September, the chef opened DOUGH&co Woodfired Pizza in the former McDonald's unit in the Anchor Street leisure centre.
Now he is gearing up to launch his new "semi-fast food concept" in the premises next door first occupied by KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken).
It will be the first bricks-and-mortar Burger Amour, but the brand already operates as a takeaway service from a ghost kitchen in Colchester.
Chris, a former chef at The Thatchers in Hatfield Heath who learned his skills from Marco Pierre White, demonstrated his faith in Bishop's Stortford when he picked the town for the third branch of his Italian-style pizza chain.
Despite the challenges of trading through the Covid-19 crisis, he remains optimistic about the future.
He said: "DOUGH&co as a whole business has coped well during lockdown and has been open throughout to serve and support our customers through this unprecedented time. The people in Bishop's Stortford recognise quality food and we appreciate this."
He hopes refurbishment of the Burger Amour premises will be completed by June 16. A team of up to 30 staff will then be trained with a view to opening on July 1.
Chris said: "There will be communal seats and booth areas. It will be quick service, so once you've ordered on the computer or at the counter you will take a table number and wait for your food."
As a contingency plan, the outlet will open for takeaway only if pandemic restrictions are still in force.
The burgers and sides on offer will be handmade from scratch and include double smashed beef patties in a brioche bun including:
- original with Monterey Jack smoked cheese, burger sauce, shredded iceberg lettuce, red onion jam, tomato and pickle;
- Spanish with chorizo, cheddar and roasted red pepper;
- French with brie and bacon;
- Italian with buffalo mozzarella and pepperoni;
- American with bacon and barbecue sauce; and
- an Old English featuring pulled pork.
Extras include halloumi fries, mini Cumberland sausages and mac and cheese.
Chris said: "There is vegan, vegetarian, chicken and much more."
The Anchor Street leisure centre has had a chequered history, but he and neighbours Ace of Lanes tenpin bowling alley kick-started a revival last year which Chris aims to continue.
When the centre opened in 2000, McDonald's set up shop alongside Cineworld Cinemas, Cannons Health Club, PB Bowl, KFC and Chicago Rock Bar and Diner. None of the original tenants remains.
When KFC shut, it was replaced by Fishy Biz, which later relocated to South Street and the premises now occupied by Penny and Lou's café.
More by this authorSinead Corr