Gourmet burger chain opens its first Georgia restaurant

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A chain that set out 10 years ago to show that a hamburger can be more than a fast, convenient way to satisfy hunger has opened its first Georgia restaurant. Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar brought to Chamblee what it calls its “philosophy to prepare simple foods–such as the quintessential American dish, the hamburger–with culinary passion.”

“We’ve had our eye on Georgia for quite some time and there isn’t a better spot to introduce our brand to the great state than in Atlanta,” CEO Boyd Hoback said in a news release announcing the opening. “Bad Daddy’s has earned a distinctive reputation in the burger world for the unique culinary passion we put into our hamburgers, and we can’t wait to share this passion with everyone in Atlanta.”

“We serve chef-inspired burgers,” said Nick Leach, who manages the new Bad Daddy’s. “With each burger we build a flavor profile, just as a chef does at an upscale restaurant.”

The menu offers 14 different burgers, but those who don’t find what they want among the chef’s creations can build their own combinations of seven types of patties, six types of bread, 12 cheeses and approximately 40 condiments and toppings.

While burgers are Bad Daddy’s signature offering, the menu features other entrees, including chili, nachos, chicken sandwiches and wings. A wide variety of salads also are available as a “build your own option” with four types of greens that can be topped with any of 10 cheeses, approximately 30 vegetables, fruits and other options as well as 11 dressings. “We can extend the menu as far as your imagination,” said Leach, who added that many of the dressings and toppings are made from scratch in the restaurant.

He said in addition to excellent food, Bad Daddy’s seeks to offer “radical hospitality. We want to be the friendliest place in town. We want everyone who comes in to have a really great time.”

The brash name—Bad Daddy’s—came about incidentally, Leach explained. “I believe they were going to call it Big Daddy’s, but there was a conflict with a business that had a similar name so they quickly changed it.” Nevertheless, the chain decided to carry the cheeky attitude forward in some of the menu items, including the Bad Ass Burger, which is made with 10 ounces of beef, buttermilk fired bacon, horseradish mayo and other toppings.

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Despite the swagger in its name, Bad Daddy’s is family friendly, Leach said. “We have a bar, but we’re not a late-night drinking place. We close at 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 on weekends. Children are welcome.” He said the music has a classic rock theme and the décor is casual and features local sports memorabilia.

The first Bad Daddy’s opened in Charlotte, N.C., in 2007. In 2013, the business was sold to Colorado-based Good Times Burgers. The number of restaurants doubled in the next four years, according to Leach. Bad Daddy’s operated in five states prior to coming to Georgia and the 3,673-square-foot Chamblee restaurant is the 27th in the chain.

Leach said Bad Daddy’s chose the Chamblee location because of its positioning between Brookhaven and Buckhead. He said other Atlanta area Bad Daddy’s are scheduled to open within the year, including a Decatur location that is scheduled to open in late 2018 or early 2019.

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Nick Leach, manager of the Chamblee Bad Daddy’s, said the menu can be extended “as far as your imagination.” Photo by Kathy Mitchell

The new eatery is among the first businesses to open in a development on Peachtree Boulevard near Clairmont Road. “This is a booming area. We look forward to becoming a lunchtime favorite for those working in the businesses around here,” said Leach, who added that Bad Daddy’s, which opened Jan. 8, has been busy in its first weeks of operation.

The community, including the local government has been warm and welcoming, Leach said, noting that Mayor Eric Clarkson and other local officials were present for a Jan. 6 preopening event that included the presentation of a check to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

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