All hail the QUEEN

Burger spot opening soon in Marquette Township

The sign of Queen City Burger Co. is pictured on a snowy January day. Owners say the new burger joint will open within the next month or so. It’s located at 2712 U.S. 41 West, Marquette Township. (Journal photo by Jaymie Depew)

MARQUETTE — There’s a new burger joint in Marquette Township slated to open as soon as possible, owners say.

What was once Rendezvous Tattoo has now transformed into Queen City Burger Co., a casual restaurant located at 2712 U.S. 41 West that’s owned by Eric Curtis and Dave Guizzetti.

Guizzetti said when Curtis moved back to the area from Texas, he realized there wasn’t “a good burger place in town.”

“No Five Guys, no nothing,” Guizzetti said. “And so, we got to talking about it and said he’d love to open a burger spot, but said he couldn’t do it by himself and asked if I would be interested, and I said, ‘Heck yeah, I would love that.’

“So, we just kind of talked about it for a month or so until we finally said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’ The burger itself was very important to us and that probably took the most planning of everything. We tried a ton of different kinds of beef blends before we settled on the types of beef that we wanted to blend together. We settled on a sirloin brisket and short-rib beef blend.

“These burgers can’t be cooked to order — no medium rare. It has to be cooked throughout, so we wanted to make sure that burger had a flavorful bite and a juicy bite, even though it was cooked all the way through. Most people that have tried the burger blend that we have say ‘It tastes like eating a steak, but better,’ and we’re like, ‘Exactly.'”

The burgers will consist of fresh meat that’s never frozen and will be flame-grilled in the open kitchen, where customers can watch their meals being prepared. Customers can also substitute a chicken breast in place of a beef patty.

Butter brioche buns will be used for the sandwiches.

“We tried a ton of different buns, too, just to make sure that the toppings didn’t soak the bun and make it a soggy, mushy mess,” he said. “The flavor of that bun had to balance the salt of the meat itself, too.”

The restaurant will also offer a vegetarian and vegan option.

“We do have something called the ‘Beyond Burger’ also,” Guizzetti said. “It’s 100 percent vegetable product. It looks like beef, it smells like beef, it cooks like beef, it tastes like beef — but it’s 100 percent vegetable. If someone got that with a lettuce-wrap bun, it’s a 100 percent vegan option. It’s so good.

“When you bite it, the inside’s pink because there’s little cellulose packets inside filled with beet juice. So, when it’s cooking, it kind of just bursts and then that beet juice spreads throughout and it kind of gives it that red, meat appearance. We wanted to have something for vegetarians and vegans because we want to make sure we’re accessible to everybody.”

Guizzetti said the menu will be unique to the area.

“Here, you order the burger and pick from the variety of toppings and styles of however you want it,” he said. “The price is the same. You’ll come up, order, the screens will be hanging from the wall so you can see all the different items, and you can either sit and eat, or there’s a waiting area for take out.”

The restaurant will also offer Nathan’s famous quarter-pound beef franks, with the option of having coney sauce on top.

“Hot dogs come grilled, but for me, I’d tell people wrap it in bacon and put it in the deep fryer,” Guizzetti said. “Once that dog comes out of the deep fryer, its got that super crispy outside and a nice hot inside — it’s so good. A nice snap once you bite into it.”

There’ll also be a variety of fried items available, including chicken strips, beer-battered fries, cheese curds, onion rings and “waffle-waffle” fries.

“The waffle-waffle fries are sweet potato,” Guizzetti explained. “We call them ‘waffle-waffle’ because they’re going to be slightly battered with an actual waffle mix before they go in the fryer and served with red pepper on the side for dipping.”

And let’s not forget the kids.

“We added small sliders for kids on the menu, too, with the same beef blend as our other burger. Sometimes places use different beef for their kid’s burgers, but we wanted to make sure the kid’s patty is exactly the same as what their parents, or an adult is getting,” Guizzetti explained.

Queen City Burger Co. will also have reusable tumblers for sale. When customers bring in their tumbler, they’ll get a discount on any fountain drink.

“We want to keep as much crap from going in the landfill as possible,” Guizzetti said. “We know there’s a group in Marquette trying to get restaurants to have to-go containers with no Styrofoam and we are fully in agreement with that. So, we went with a 100 percent recyclable cardboard to-go container. It’s lined with wax, though, so it’ll keep the heat in.”

People will also have another option for late-night dining as Queen City Burger Co. will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.The restaurant is anticipated to open within the next month or so and will deliver orders throughout the city of Marquette and Marquette Township.

For more information, visit www.queencityburgers.com or Queen City Burger Co.’s Facebook page for updates.

Jaymie Depew can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. Her email address is jdepew@miningjournal.net.