THE WORD ON THE STREET IS "DAAAANG!"

‘Upscale Burger Restaurant’ Coming to Dayton

MIAMISBURG – Four years after retiring from the Wendy’s franchise, Cincinnati resident Tom Rodenkirch was antsy and looking to return to the restaurant business with a unique eatery. He found it, and will be opening Smashburger in The Shoppes at 725, 2315 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, in September.

“I follow trends … and saw this one in Denver and decided to pursue it,” Rodenkirch said of the “upscale burger restaurant.”

He asked his colleague at Wendy’s, Amy Kessling, to join him as a business partner and the Rodenkirch Management Group LLC became a franchisee of the first Smashburgers in Ohio. The contract with Smashburger Master LLC calls to open 12 restaurants during the next three and a half years in four counties, including Greene, Butler and Montgomery.

The location is 2,500 square feet and when opened will have about 30 employees. Rodenkirch said he’s looking for locations where they can stay for at least 20 years and are “high-traffic shopping centers,” like The Shoppes across from Target near the Dayton Mall.

Smashburger restaurants are open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and the average check is around $8, according to the company’s Web site. It offers 1/3 and 1/2 pound 100 percent Angus Beef Smashburgers, chicken sandwiches, fries and Smashsalads, and Häagen Dazs Shakes and Floats. Its table service and beer and wine options ($3 and $4, respectively) can account for the “upscale” feeling.

The Denver-based restaurant has almost 15 locations in Texas, Minnesota, Colorado and Kansas. Their national expansion plan is to open 500 restaurants across the country, with 30 to 60 of those scheduled for 2009. They are owned by a private equity and concept development firm Consumer Capital Partners (CCP).

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2282 or jszink@DaytonDailyNews.com.