Batavia to get area’s first Smashburger restaurant

Linda Girardi For the Beacon-News

“Batavia is a great trade area with hard-working people,” Smashburger founder Tom Ryan said.

The Denver-based Smashburger, as a fast casual “better burger” restaurant company, is planning to open in mid-November at 842 N. Randall Road, a location vacated by 3 Day Blinds.

“We saw a space in the marketplace between fast-food burgers and sit-down burger places,” Smashburger founder Tom Ryan said. “We thought there was a place in between for a much higher level of food with a 20-minute window.”

Ryan said Smashburger was named for the cooking method used to create “cooked to order” recipe or “build-your-own” burgers.

“We start with 100 percent Angus beef, smashed, seared and seasoned on the grill, placed on a butter-toasted artisan bun and topped with the highest-quality cheeses, freshest produce and condiments,” Ryan said.

Ryan said the beef, fresh and never frozen, is prepared in one-half-pound or one-third-pound sizes.

Along with burgers, the restaurant has signature sides including smashfries, smashchicken sandwiches, veggie frites, salads and haystack onions, as well as Haagen-Dazs shakes.

Ryan said customers make a selection at the counter, and their order is served to their table. The atmosphere is comfortable and relaxed, he said.

Ryan said Batavia is part of a broad launch in the Chicago market, with plans to open other Smashburger restaurants in the first quarter of 2011 in Darien, Rolling Meadows and Schaumburg.

“Batavia is our first, and we are proud of that,” he said.

Ryan, who used to live in the Oak Park-River Forest area, said customers can expect to see menu items only available in the Chicago area.

Ryan has 20 years experience in marketing, branding, consumer research and concept/product development for package goods and restaurant/retail companies. He has his Ph.D. in flavor and fragrance chemistry, his masters in lipid toxicology and undergraduate degree in food science, all from Michigan State University. Ryan said he has a team that helped to develop the restaurant concept.

The Batavia Smashburger is expected to employ about 35 people. Smashburger has 82 stores in 17 states in 25 markets.