You don’t open an eatery within blocks of the Mercedes Benz Superdome without keeping an eye on the Saints schedule. And so Adam Biderman pegged last Sunday’s home opener as the family-and-friends trial run for the downtown version of the Company Burger.
But even as well wishers flowed through the gleaming new restaurant en route to the Dome (or sought solace at its bar on the way back out), Biderman said he decided to stake a claim here for the growing potential in everyday business. For evidence he could point just out the windows at a new apartment building taking shape and other development projects on the boards.
“There’s going to be a lot more people living right around here soon, and there’s going to be a lot of competition for places where they want to eat nearby,” he said. “I like getting in early on areas where new things are happening.”
The downtown Company Burger opens for regular business today (Sept. 22), serving from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
It’s part of the South Market District, a complex of ground-floor retail and multi-story residential units that continues to rise on what had long been surface parking lots.
Biderman opened his first Company Burger in 2011 along another transforming stretch, Freret Street, where his fast-casual eatery has thrived. His downtown edition serves the same menu, which revolves around a tight package of a burger, one where a pair of slim, griddled patties, dressings, cheese and bun fit together like clockwork.
The burger is based on one that Biderman originally served at Atlanta’s popular Holeman & Finch Public House, where it became an afterhours phenom. Biderman is a New Orleans native, and when he moved back home he soon began planning a restaurant with this burger in the spotlight.
While the two Company Burger locations share a menu and a counter service format, the downtown expansion was designed to function a bit differently, guided by its location. A dedicated bar is key to that, and Biderman will eventually serve a separate bar menu with small plates, sliders and other dishes where his kitchen can branch out and where customers headed to the nearby theaters and venues can get a quick meal of a different sort.
Biderman creates the bar menus for the Freret Street cocktail lounge Cure and consulted on the menu for Cure’s related restaurant Cane & Table. It will be interesting to see what he comes up with for this new access point to the Company Burger.
“We know we can’t be everything to everyone but we want to put out that same consistent Company Burger experience we do on Freret Street,” he sad. “We serve what we want to eat, with what we would want to drink with it.”
The Company Burger
611 O’Keefe Ave., 504-309-9422
4600 Freret St., 504-267-0320
Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter @IanMcNultyNOLA.