Famous Hamburger set to reopen on Plymouth Road after franchise deal fell apart
Laura Blodgett | For AnnArbor.com
The restaurant was closed for three months after a potential franchisee’s financing fell through due to the tight lending market, said Mounir Hider, who co-owns Famous Hamburger along with his father, Feisal Hider.
The Hiders decided to operate the restaurant as a corporate-owned location for now, though they still intend to franchise the location if an entrepreneur expresses interest. They're now hiring 15 workers to staff the restaurant when it reopens.
The restaurant's menu features 19 gourmet burgers, including an olive burger and inferno burger with jalapenos, along with American favorites such as milkshakes and sub sandwiches as well as a selection of Mediterranean recipes.
Laura Blodgett | For AnnArbor.com
The franchise also offers a 100 percent halal burger, Hider said, which means it's prepared and stored according to Islamic dietary standards.
“It doesn’t take away from the taste, it actually adds to it, so those not necessarily seeking halal won’t mind it,” said Hider. “It caters to that market without disqualifying anyone else.”
The restaurant is also a satellite location for the company's catering operation, whose local clients include the Islamic Center of Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan Medical Center as well as private birthday parties and baby showers.
The family opened its first restaurant in Beirut, Lebanon in 1970. They opened a restaurant in Detroit when they immigrated to Michigan in 1996. Since then, they moved to a larger location in Dearborn, currently located at 5808 Schaefer Rd., followed by its first franchise at 3424 Fairlane Dr. in Allen Park.
Hider, a University of Michigan graduate, opened the Ann Arbor restaurant three years ago with the intent to franchise it once it opened.
“I have always loved Ann Arbor, and always wanted to do something [here],” said Hider. “I know Ann Arbor, and I know what the expectations are here and I felt I could meet those demands.”
The Hiders said they are also currently in the process of opening a franchise in Los Angeles.
The Ann Arbor restaurant is currently hiring about 15 employees including waitstaff, cashiers and cooks. Those interested can apply online at www.famoushamburger.com/employment.
Laura Blodgett is a freelance reporter for AnnArbor.com.
Tue, Aug 9, 2011 : 8:59 p.m.
Halal burgers? NO THANKS! I prefer my meat-animals to be stunned before they are slaughtered. Halal slaughter does not allow for stunning of the animals, and they remain conscious, in pain, and aware as the blood drains away.
Tue, Aug 9, 2011 : 2:47 a.m.
I'm saddened by the negative comments posted thus far. Some comments were made about how the service was slow when they just opened up etc- Well that's what happens in the beginning of a new business. Feel free to vote with your wallet when it comes time to complaining about a business. The article was well written and informative. Perhaps they could have gotten a statement from the owner. In either case, I am looking forward to it opening up again. I was a big fan of the "Famous Burger" as well as the waffle fries.
Tue, Aug 9, 2011 : 1:18 a.m.
I hope they improve on the food safety items. They had 3 critical, and 4 noncritical, violations at their last inspection on 10/27/10 (<a href="http://www.swordsolutions.com/inspections/pgeSearchResults.asp?Hit=DirectSearch&LastCty=28)" rel='nofollow'>http://www.swordsolutions.com/inspections/pgeSearchResults.asp?Hit=DirectSearch&LastCty=28)</a>. One of the critical violations related to broken or poorly maintained plumbing, so the comment by "silodog" above appears on the money.
Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 9:08 p.m.
I have been there, its a good burger place and the people that work there are very friendly.
Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 8:42 p.m.
This doesn't make sense. The sign that has been in the window since I first went by there in February said "closed due to plumbing repair".... :p
Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 11:44 p.m.
haha! I'm trying to connect the dots...
Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 6:59 p.m.
Yep The post's above tell me alot NOT GOING Thanks to all
Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 5:16 p.m.
I do not have anything against Middle Eastern food, but combining classic American stables with Middle Eastern cuisine seems to represent a restaurant with a lack of identity. It reminds me of when I was backpacking in the Middle East and I was desperate for some American food. I saw a place advertising American Hamburgers. So I ordered one. When the waitress put a tray with five or six little bowls filled with different sauces I knew I was in trouble. The burger came without a bun, and I am pretty sure there wasn't any meat in it.
Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 9:38 p.m.
Oooh... I disagree! I love me some Famous waffle fries with my fatoosh salad! I'm excited about this reopening.
Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 2:21 p.m.
I ate there one time. Not too impressed. Overpriced, for sure. If I am on the north side and want a chain burger, a Wendy's double will do just fine.
Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 1:43 p.m.
Skip this place. Went in there once when it first opened. Food was marginal at best, service was slow, price was high and the manager was too busy talking Arabic on the cell phone to get the place running right. Great Plains is right around the corner on Plymouth and a lot better.
Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 1:30 p.m.
Something wrong with the time-frames here. I think it opened more like two years ago and I think it's been closed for a lot longer than three months. Seems to me it was only operational for a little over a year.
Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 12:53 p.m.
I may be a grumpy old man but I think I am not alone in thinking that a. the opening of a chain "restaurant" is not NEWS b. the opening of a hamburger chain joint is not NEWS c. the adjective "gourmet" usually means gimmicky crap. No serious restaurant ever uses the term. But then asking this blog to be serious is a waste of time ....
Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 5:47 p.m.
PersonX: It's business news.
Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 2:07 p.m.
I guess this is no blog for grumpy old men ...
Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 1:29 p.m.
If you really wanted serious you would not be here!
Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 1:08 p.m.
a. Almost all the restaurants in Ann Arbor are part of chains. b. News is what interests people generally, not necessarily what interests you. c. Cafe Zola uses the term "gourmet" on their website. But then, are people, who respond to a blog that they don't think is serious, serious?
Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 12:49 p.m.
Famous Hamburger's? Never heard of 'em.
Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 11:40 a.m.
saturated 'fats' market.
Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 11:22 a.m.
Been there. Good burgers. Too expensive.