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UPDATE: Hamburger Mary's business for sale; co-owner cites high rent
2019-08-10

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The popular Andersonville restaurant Hamburger Mary's is for sale—and high rent is the culprit.

SVN Chicago Commercial presented the exclusive listing for this business, according to BizBuySell.com . The listing (with an asking price of $185,000) says, "The property is located at 5400-5402 N Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois. The 5200 N Clark property consists of a two-story, hard corner space with approximately 2,350sf per floor plus basement. The 5402 N Clark building is a ground floor space with basement."

Hamburger Mary's is a franchise brand with sites in California, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. A second Illinois Mary's is currently operating in Oak Park and will remain open, according to an employee.

The chain—which first opened in 1972 in San Francisco—has previously closed restaurants in Portland and Berlin. According to ABCActionNews.com, Hamburger Mary's closed two locations in Florida earlier this year following a hepatitis A test and an I-Team investigation. The restaurant had posted on Facebook, "Hamburger Mary's Brandon and St. Petersburg to Close for Good by March 31 Due to the Continuing Damage to Mary's Good Name from the False Reports of the Health Department." Hamburger Mary's owner Kurt King blamed the Hillsborough County Health Department for ruining his business.

However, Hamburger Mary's International co-owner Ashley Wright told Windy City Times that the issue with the Andersonville location is rent.

"We have about a year and a half left on our lease," Wright said. "We do not own the business, and the rent in Andersonville is really high.

"For a burger place, we feel that we can only charge so much. The writing's on the wall and we know that we have to move so, as an exploratory option, we thought we'd put the space on the market. We'd love to be in a space with a bigger dining room because our whole complex [which includes Mary's Attic and Andersonville Brewing] is large, but our dining space is small. We'd love a bigger dining space because that's our bread and butter—with 'Dining with Divas'—and we'd like a bigger stage, and for considerably less rent.'

Wright also wanted to stress that "the building is not for sale and the name 'Hamburger Mary's' is not for sale. Also, we're not closing tomorrow. We want Hamburger Mary's to stay and have a presence in Chicago; it just won't be at that location [forever]—we know that. We don't want to be in a position where we have to charge $18 for a burger."

—Andrew Davis


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