A new burger joint has opened in Kirkland and its owner hopes to offer an alternative to chain-restaurant food.
The Kirkland Burger Addict is the second location for Marcus Olson. It opened on Aug. 22 and using hormone-free and locally sourced beef is central to Olson’s business model.
“I’m trying to get them addicted on better quality burgers,” he said, sitting inside the bright red interior of his new restaurant. “Giving them the best choice that you can possibly give them.”
On top of using local ingredients, Olson said his restaurants cook items to order and use a patented process to cook the beef from all directions instead of from one side, while retaining moisture. Burgers start at $7-10 for a meal and sides include mac and cheese, fried cheese curds and truffle fries. Olson hopes to expand to other culinary offerings such as southern food and barbecue. He also hopes to host pop-up restaurants in the store.
Olson was born in Washington state before striking out for 18 years to everywhere from Alaska to Europe, where he worked in and managed various kitchens. Eventually he would like to open a prestigious Michelin-starred restaurant within driving distance of Seattle.
For now though, while he has experience in high-end kitchens, he wants to make familiar food that people enjoy at a reasonable price. At higher-end restaurants, Olson said you’re serving only people who can afford it.
“You’re just feeding fortunate people really well-thought-out food and it gets you accolades and it gets you notoriety…I don’t feel like it serves a purpose of making the sum of lives better,” he said.
Olson decided to open in Kirkland after opening his first location in Renton in 2015. The Renton store is a small one, located in a strip shopping center along the Maple Valley Highway, a location he chose because it was one he could afford at the time.
Since then, in addition to opening a Kirkland store, he also started a food truck that will end up at the Renton Boeing plant on a semi-permanent basis. If his business keeps growing, he hopes to open a third location along Juanita Drive Northeast.
Both Kirkland customers and the city have been supportive of his efforts to open up shop, Olson said.
“There’s a great family community that really likes what we’re doing here,” he said.
Despite growth, Olson said he wants to keep working at the restaurants day in and day out, doing everything from cleaning dishes to scrubbing stove vents. He said he’s not interested in creating a large corporation.
If everything goes according to plan, he hopes to stay in Kirkland for the long haul. The strip mall location he’s renting is expected to be demolished within the next six years and a mixed-used development built onsite. However, Olson said his landlords have already invited him to open up in the new building once it is completed.