Burger Town: Gourmet burger joint opens in downtown Renton
By CELESTE GRACEY
Renton Reporter Staff Writer
August 10, 2010 · Updated 2:22 PM
A couple from Newcastle is following the gourmet burger trend to downtown Renton, serving up juicy third-pounders for $5.
Burger Town is surprisingly the only burger joint downtown, and it promises everything from the satisfying to the extreme.
How extreme? One burger is so large it was named after the 787 jet with a half-pound patty, cheddar and bacon.
"It's a fun business," said Jeff Kim, son of owners Kuk and Soon.
With two children willing to help the family business, it's now entirely run by the Kims.
The greasy burger joint is much different the 120th Grocery and Deli in Bellevue, which Kuk sold about seven about years ago.
"I like American food," he explained in a thick Korean accent.
Even when he sold fresh sandwiches, he often took off to get a burger for lunch, he said.
The restaurant also offers a shorter work day, only open for lunch and early dinners, Jeff said.
The Newcastle couple picked Renton, because Boeing promises a stable local economy and there was a prime spot along South Third Street, downtown's busiest street, Kuk said.
However, the building remodel was wrought with complications, taking the restaurant nine months to open.
Black-and-red furniture fills the informal storefront, a soda machine dominates the front counter with its row of yellow mustard bottles.
The red baskets lined with checkered paper do more for atmosphere than the room itself, which is sparsely decorated with undersized pictures.
The menu is filled with typical gourmet burger fair, including the California burger ($5.49) with avocado and bacon, a customer favorite.
"The price is really good for what you're getting," Jeff said.
The hamburger is never frozen, but the shoestring fries are. They're cooked to tasty crispness ($1.69-$2.29).
Most things are charbroiled, including a large menu of wraps ($5.99 each).
Like all good burger joints, it has milkshakes made with real ice cream ($3.49).
So far business has been good, especially for lunch.
"The customers like our food," Kuk said. "If this is successful, I'll try to open another."
After selling the Bellevue Deli, Kuk worked as an elder at
Philippi Presbyterian Church in Shoreline, he said.
Soon is a wellness center nurse who often works with large corporations, she said, adding it was odd telling her boss she was quitting to work flipping burgers.
Jeff, 29, flew home from Korea, where he's taught English for the past year, to help his parents open the business.
He plans to return to Korea to continue developing curriculum, he said. "Come, try our burgers."firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-255-3484, ext. 5052.