la.eater.com – Anyone around Los Angeles who has paid attention even remotely to the comings and goings of restaurants has by now seen signs for Burgerim. The Israeli-born miniature burger chain first sputtered into the American market with an odd early franchise attempt in West Hollywood, ultimately pulling up stakes for a full retool and relaunch into the market last year.
In the 15 months since that first Hollywood location on Melrose came to life, there have been nine other Los Angeles-area openings for Burgerim, from Mar Vista to Glendale to Santa Clarita. More than a dozen others will come soon to Southern California, per the company’s own website. But two big questions remain: How, and why?
Southern California is the spiritual center of America’s obsession with cheeseburgers. The blend of beef and bun and cheese is said to have been first concocted in Pasadena, and popularized through countless regional burger chains — spurred on in many cases by the rise of fast food, freeways, and the freewheeling 1950s and ‘60s. Los Angeles is In-N-Out, it’s ground beef cheeseburger tacos that date to the 1940s. So how has one international chain managed to keep such a relatively low profile while adding almost a dozen locations in well under a year? And what’s behind the plan for absolute market saturation in a part of the country so thoroughly dominated by burger places already?