Biz Beat

Deciding what to eat is the hardest part at the new BurgerIM joint in west Modesto

See the selection at Modesto’s new BurgerIM restaurant

The international gourmet burger chain BurgerIM opened its first Modesto location in March 2019. The restaurant offers made-to-order custom burgers and sides.
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The international gourmet burger chain BurgerIM opened its first Modesto location in March 2019. The restaurant offers made-to-order custom burgers and sides.

If you’re bad at decisions, Modesto’s new BurgerIM restaurant might not be for you.

The international gourmet burger chain, which opened its first Central Valley location on Carpenter Road in mid-March, is known for its customizable burgers. In fact, it touts its “millions of possibilities, endless combinations” on its menus. Still the concept is simple enough: pick your kind of patty, pick your bun, pick your toppings and enjoy.

Husband-and-wife Modesto franchise owners Greg and Danielle Fraioli said they were drawn to the chain’s custom menu and made-to-order offerings, and the fact that none has opened in the region. The closest shop is in Tracy, and most of the chain’s 80 California locations are in the southern part of the state.

“We were looking for something different,” said Danielle Fraioli. “Everyone likes something different, and people can find things they haven’t tried before.”

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Fried-egg topped mini burgers and fries at BurgerIM on Carpenter Road in Modesto, Calif. are pictured on Friday March 29, 2019. The burger franchise specializes in gourmet burgers with a wide range of toppings. Joan Barnett Lee jlee@modbee.com

It’s in the details that BurgerIM, which started in Israel and began franchising worldwide in 2011, sets itself apart from other chains. The chain offers full-sized burgers at a quarter and third pound, as well as smaller super-sized sliders. There are eight different patties to choose from: Angus beef, Spanish beef (chorizo), dry-aged beef, lamb, grilled chicken, crispy chicken, salmon and falafel. The mini-burgers come in Angus beef, grilled or crispy chicken, lamb, turkey and veggie patties.

The more than a dozen toppings range from favorites like bacon and sauteed mushrooms to avocado, jalapenos, red cabbage and fried eggs. The restaurant has vegan and gluten-free options available as well. Sides include round fries, onion rings, sweet potato fries, salad and milkshakes. The restaurant also serves wine and beer on tap. And those drafts get filled in an unusual way, from the bottom to the top of specialized pint glasses with a magnetized bottom. It’s essentially beer and a show.

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Michael Ballard and Troy Campos (right) enjoy themselves at BurgerIM on Carpenter road in Modesto, Calif.on Friday March 29, 2019. The burger franchise specializes in gourmet burgers with a wide range of toppings. Joan Barnett Lee jlee@modbee.com

The Fraiolis bring a combined more than 40 years experience running restaurants. They both served as managers for Round Table Pizza shops, him in Ceres for 27 years and her on Orangeburg Avenue for 14 years. They were also able to bring some of their past employees, as well as three of their adult sons, to work on the staff of about 30.

While the company first launched in the states touting its larger-than-a-slider mini-burgers (traditional sliders are 1 ounce, BurgerIM’s are 3 ounces), it transitioned this month to offering more full-sized selections based on customer demand. The mini-burgers are still available in two, three or party-sized packs. Full-sized burgers run $6.99 to $7.99, and the mini-burgers are $6.99 for two, $9.99 for three. Party packs run $34.99 to $44.99 and can include sides and chicken wings.

The brightly accented restaurant seats around 50 people for dine-in or carry out orders. The restaurant also offers delivery through Uber Eats and GrubHub.

And then there’s the name. “Burgerim” is Hebrew for “many burgers.” While the unusual name is a conversation starter, people are already finding the restaurant on their own. First announced last July, the burger joint moved into the vacant former Mr. Pickle’s location near the Home Depot. The west side of Modesto location sets it apart from many other chains, which tend to flock to the area around the Vintage Faire Mall or McHenry Avenue. Customers come from surrounding businesses like next door’s Cycle Gear motorcycle shop.

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Owners Danielle and Greg Fraioli are pictured at BurgerIM on Carpenter Road in Modesto, Calif.on Friday March 29, 2019. The burger franchise specializes in gourmet burgers with a wide range of toppings. Joan Barnett Lee jlee@modbee.com

BurgerIM is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday at 1521 N Carpenter Road, Building F. For more information, call 209-579-9602 or visit www.burgerim.com.

Elsewhere on the Business Beat:

Valley nut growers have a new nursery to check out.

Roos Tree Nursery started last year by third-generation valley farmer Tim Roos and his wife, three-time Olympian and Modesto native Suzy Powell-Roos. The wholesale nursery planted its first trees in spring 2018, and had its first sales last winter.

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Third-generation farmer Tim Roos started the wholesale nursery Roos Tree Nursery in Oakdale, Calif. in 2018. MHD Group

The nursery on Albers Road in Oakdale specializes in June Bud Walnuts (1-year-old bare root trees budded in June) and Bare Root Almonds (trees harvested while dormant for winter planting).

Roos has nearly two decades of experience in the industry, and worked for a number of years as the operations and sales manager for the Bonilla Tree Nursery in Oakdale. That nursery closed in 2017, and Roos hired eight full-time employees from Bonilla to join his team.

For more information, call 209-847-2520 or visit www.roostreenursery.com.

Marijke Rowland writes about new business, restaurant and retail developments. She has been with The Modesto Bee since 1997 covering a variety of topics including arts and entertainment. Her Business Beat column runs midweek and Sundays. And it’s pronounced Mar-eye-ke.

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