Velvet Burger coming to Chch
Christchurch burger fans will soon be able to wrap their chops around a 'Big Bro', a 'Big Bird' or a 'Velvet Lady' as gourmet burger outlet Velvet Burger comes to town.
Velvet Burger, known for its kooky bruger names, is opening a franchise on Riccarton Rd in January.
George Eason, director at Velvet Burger's parent company Cook Brothers Bars, said the burger bar would look to meet a big demand for not only eateries, but hospitality in general in Christchurch.
He said the food was just part of the overall experience at Velvet Burger, which was fitted out more like a bar than a restaurant.
The burger joint was "a little bit more comfy... a more adult-friendly environment, where you might want to stay and have a couple drinks and relax'', Eason said.
''We want people to know that we are a New Zealand company, [but] it's not in-your-face Kiwiana - just a more subtle local vibe, with a few New Zealand touch points [such as] the Big Bro - that's kind of like our Kiwi burger."
Eason, 31, has strong links to Christchurch having attended Christchurch Boys' High School and Canterbury University, and worked as a high-performance ski racing coach at Mt Hutt
He got involved in the burger joint franchise in to 2005, when his high school ski-racing mates bought Dunedin's historic Captain Cook Tavern, while studying at Otago University.
''That was where everything kind of started. Velvet Burger started not long after they bought The Cook,'' Eason said.
He was working at Velvet Burger in Dunedin part-time while doing a Masters degree in business at Otago University in 2006.
Not long after the opening of the store, he was approached by the owners to see if he wanted take a stake in the business and manage the day-to-day operations.
Velvet Burger opened a second joint in the Octagon in Dunedin in 2008 and set up shop in Auckland two years later.
Eason said Cook Brothers also planned to open a bar in Christchurch, but that was "a little bit further down the track".