If you think our city doesn’t have enough burger joints, you’ll be happy to know that we’re getting another one—one that’s highly anticipated, to say the least.
Popular California-style burger chain Caliburger is set to open its doors at 830 Thurlow Street next Friday (June 3) in the heart of Robson Street’s shopping quarter.
Surrounded by fashion retailers including Banana Republic and Aritzia, as well as restaurant chain Red Robins, the 2,200-square-foot location features a bright interior with modern décor contrasted with old-school, diner-style tables and chairs.
“In addition to the modern update and décor, we’ve got a whole technological experience baked into what the customer can do,” Reyaz A. Kassamali, Caliburger’s Vancouver franchisee, told the Straight during an exclusive preview of the food outlet. “Even before you walk into the door, there’s a mobile app where you can order from.”
Other state-of-the-art technologies that can be found at the eatery include a high-tech Coca-Cola machine that can scan QR codes from a smartphone app to pour pre-mixed drinks; wireless table chargers and charging adapters; and an interactive nine-foot tall video wall.
“For most of the day, we’ll have passive scenic content of Venice Beach or some other California beach, but we’ll also have in-store gaming,” Kassamali explained. “The really cool part is that you can only play against people in the store, so it creates a social environment.”
So far, there are two video games, Minecraft and #Blitz, available for play, though you can expect more to be launched in the near future. There are currently talks with big names such as Doodle Jump, Candy Crush, and Clash of Titans.
As for the main stars of the show—the menu items—the franchisee was eager to describe what makes the food at Caliburger stand out.
“Our menu is simple…at the end of the day, it’s burgers, fries, and drinks. That’s it,” Kassamali said. “You will wait a little bit longer for your burger because your patty is not put onto the grill until your order gets printed in the kitchen.”
Its signature item is the Cali Double—a juicy burger made with two 100-percent all-beef patties, real melted cheese, fresh red tomatoes, lettuce, and onions, all drizzled in its signature sauce and sandwiched between soft buns.
There’s also the Chipotle BBQ Chicken Sandwich, Cali Chicken Sandwich, Cheeseburger, and a vegetarian option—the Cali Bello Mushroom Burger.
Its fries are another attractive option on the menu. You can order them plain or “Cali-Style”, fries topped with CaliBurger’s signature sauce, melted cheese, and grilled sweet onions.
In terms of drinks, guests can choose from the Coca-Cola machine, Stumptown nitro cold brew coffee, and local craft beers from Parallel 49 Brewing and Red Truck Beer Company on tap.
CaliBurger’s popular hand-spun milkshakes, which comes in vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry flavours,will also be available. Of special note is the choice to spike your milkshake with bourbon, rum, or Baileys Irish Cream. There’s even the option of adding a shot of Stumptown’s nitro cold brew into it, which is part of the “secret menu”.
In case you’re wondering, yes—Caliburger has been likened by many to In-N-Out Burger—another popular burger chain from California. But what makes it different?
“We like to think that we’re offering a quality product at a value price with a better experience,” Kassamali said. “If all of that combined makes us better, or frankly even equal—because we respect them and think they have a great product as well—we’ll take it.”
The franchisee also mentioned that Caliburger will give back to the local community through charitable partnerships, including Mealshare, a nonprofit organization that aims to end hunger. On the first Monday of each month, the burger spot will work with Mealshare following its buy one, give one philosophy.
Caliburger will be offering special grand-opening day and weekend promotions from June 3 to 5. This includes everything from free burgers and fries with the purchase of a drink to winning a Caliburger “Gold Card” that will give you a free combo meal every day for one whole year.
The company has also launched a social media contest asking burger lovers to submit “bad burgers” in Vancouver, in which the winner will receive a trip for two to Los Angeles, California.
For more details and information about CaliBurger and its upcoming Vancouver opening, click here.
Take a look at the photos below for an exclusive peek inside Caliburger’s first Westcoast Canadian flagship.