Hot Spot: Hamburger Mary’s
Fall Down the Rabbit Hole-and into the whimsical world of this new Midtown burger joint.
“Eat, Drink and be…Mary” is the mantra of this new Midtown hangout with flair, and rightfully so. In its two-month existence, the whimsical burger joint is already infusing a unique brand of food and fun into the neighborhood, and positioning itself as a friendly spot for “open-minded” people. Loud and Proud The story of this long-established franchise dates back to 1972 with the opening of the first Hamburger Mary’s in San Francisco. It began as an eclectic late-night beer and burger joint and quickly became a go-to hangout for the LGBT community. Forty years and 11 locations later, Hamburger Mary’s has gained a reputation as a come-one-come-all hotspot, and a chain that actively markets itself to the LGBT community. The St. Louis location, which was spearheaded
by a group of partners led by Mark Erney, is the second to open in Missouri. After a show-stopping soft opening with a VIP guest list of creatives and politicos alike, Hamburger Mary’s has been buzzing ever since—and not just among the LGBT community.
Alice Meets Wonderland
It’s hard to label just what Hamburger Mary’s is—maybe because it’s not just a restaurant—it’s a flamboyant diner-themed eatery with a stage and grand piano. The space is open with lots of personality and colorful diner décor. The half-pound burgers are a definite draw, but so is the multi-level bar, VIP lounge, stage, outdoor patio and nightly entertainment lineups. After your chili burger and tater tots, you can join a game of bingo, belt a few tunes during karaoke night or watch a drag show.Head up to the second floor to find a sports-bar meets-rec-room with large TVs and a lively area overlooking the main floor. Or, snag the “Sweet Charity” table (seats eight to 10) in front, where 70 percent of all food sales go to the highlighted charity of the month.
The menu is just as wonderfully wacky—with a mix of appetizers like “Hot Wangs & Thangs,” a generous selection of burgers and sandwiches, and a dessert menu that includes fried Twinkies. Among the burgers, a popular favorite is the classic Mary Burger, a half-pound charbroiled selection served with your choice of sweet-potato fries, onion rings, soup or salad. Other takes on the classic include the Queen Mary burger, loaded with cheddar cheese, grilled onions and bacon, and the Big Kahuna with bacon, grilled pineapple and cheese. The Spicy Mary burger is no joke—with a fiery blend of hot sauce, jalapeños and melted jack cheese. Wrap options include turkey, bacon and avocado on multigrain and a chipotle chicken wrap with black beans and ranch. Don’t leave without trying one of the Mary-tinis or Specialteases—delectable drinks that live up to their array of cutesy names like the Sweet Buns, with Smirnoff Fluffed Marshmallow vodka, or the Scarlet O’Hara, with Southern Comfort and cranberry.
Photo credit: Jennifer Silverberg