Epic Burger plans to expand to Evanston this summer

Kevin Mathew, Copy Chief

A Chicago-based burger chain hopes to expand to Evanston this summer pending a City Council vote on April 13.

Epic Burger, which plans to open at 1622 Sherman Ave., advertises a simple menu built around a “more mindful burger” made of fresh ingredients from sustainable sources, CEO Scott Norrick said.

“The whole purpose behind Epic Burger was really more than just starting a restaurant, but really stimulating thought around how food is raised, grown, processed, prepared, packaged,” he said. “We very much spend a lot of time thinking about the whole food chain.”

Norrick (Kellogg ’91) said that the straightforward menu keeps costs down and allows the restaurant to offer better food and spend more on employees than similarly priced fast food burger chains.

Mark Muenzer, the city’s director of community development, said the sustainable goals of Epic Burger aligned well with the efforts of the city. He said the company’s expansion efforts also reflect growing demand for the food the restaurant offers.

Epic Burger currently has six locations in Chicago and one at the Westfield Old Orchard mall in Skokie. Norrick said Evanston’s residential and employment sectors made it a natural choice for the new restaurant.

Epic Burger wants to expand to the city even if aldermen do not approve the Sherman Avenue location, Norrick said.

Paul Zalmezak, the city’s economic development coordinator, said Epic Burger will contribute to the growing number of fast-casual restaurants opening in the city.

“We have this new grouping … you would expect to see in downtown Chicago because of the office environment,” Zalmezak said. “But we also have the additional bonus of having all of these students, faculty and staff working at the University.”

Although the city is primarily working to attract more local retail, Zalmezak said Epic Burger can survive competition against many Evanston restaurants because the market has recently demanded healthy food and rewards businesses that adapt to the community.

Norrick emphasized Epic Burger’s focus on engagement and said they will likely host fundraisers and events with Northwestern student groups.

The restaurant plans to offer on-foot delivery to nearby locations and will not serve alcohol. City Council approval on April 13 will be the last step before Epic Burger can sign a lease.

Email: kevinmathew2015@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @kevinwmathew