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Local Business Owners Launch National Burger Chain During Pandemic

Doll n’ Burgers new restaurant on East Chicago Blvd. in Tecumseh.  JTV Photo.

(May 26, 2020 5:12 PM) A group of entrepreneurs this week launched Doll n’ Burgers, a new restaurant that is planned as the flagship of a national burger chain.    The first Doll n’ Burgers restaurant opened in Tecumseh on Saturday, May 23 with a Charity Preview event drawing more than 500 customers.

“We’re Insane enough to launch a high-end national burger chain in the middle of a pandemic. Awesome enough to pull it off! Why? Because our food. Our service. Our people. Everything about Doll n’ Burgers is ridiculously good,” said Co-founder Ken Heers.

The new restaurant, opening officially today to the public, is a Michigan-born restaurant that serves fresh ingredients: regionally raised, fresh beef, topped with locally sourced vegetables and served on a homemade American milk bun.  The made-to-order burgers are served with a side of house-cut fries.

The relatively small menu includes the Doll n’ Burger, Doll n’ Burger Deluxe, and the Doll n’ Burger Bacon Deluxe.  A Detroit-style Coney, Traverse City Salad, sides, shakes, and malts round out the offerings. Doll n’ Burgers has a kids menu and a black bean patty or grilled chicken breast can be substituted in place of the burger.

Along with Heers, co-founders Justin Dalenberg, John Burtka, and Joel Dalenberg have several more Doll n’ Burgers scheduled to open over the next couple of years with plans to go national. These restaurants aim to bring the mid-western spirit and hospitality across the nation, one guest, and one employee at a time.

Co-founder John Burtka, founder of Grand River Brewery in Jackson and Marshall, said opening a new restaurant during a pandemic wasn’t part of the plan.  “We’ve been working on this concept for two years and have spent the past year getting the first restaurant ready to open,” said Burtka.  “It obviously is a difficult time for the restaurant industry, but we had all the work done and the menu ready, so we decided now was a good time.”

The owners are planning additional locations and Burtka said, “Our next store will be in Jackson.”

In a press release, Doll n’ Burgers offered a customer review:

We loved our first stop at Doll n Burgers. Everything was so delicious! The burgers are handmade, juicy and topped with lots of goodness! The fries are fresh cut and crispy. The poutine was the perfect balance of gravy and cheese curds. Everything we ordered was so good! We can’t wait to go back”. N.S. Ann Arbor

Located at 411 E. Chicago Blvd in Tecumseh, the store will initially be drive-thru only and will have the limited operating hours of 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

For more information, visit www.dollnburgers.com,  Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/dollnburgers/), or Instagram @dollnburgers.

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