Epic Burger to open Evanston location this month

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Lauren Duquette/Daily Senior Staffer

Chicago-area restaurant chain, Epic Burger, will open its eighth location this month in Evanston. The new burger joint, 1622 Sherman Ave., is located a block away from Edzo’s Burger Shop, 1571 Sherman Ave.

Jerry Lee, Reporter

A Chicago-area burger chain is opening its eighth location in Evanston this month, bringing another burger option close to Northwestern.

Epic Burger, 1622 Sherman Ave., offers burgers made with humanely raised beef and all-natural ingredients free from antibiotics or hormones, according to the company. In addition, the restaurant offers alternatives to beef including turkey and chicken, as well as vegetarian options such as portobello sandwiches and shakes made with organic milk.

“Today’s customers care more and more about the type of food they’re putting in their body,” said Epic Burger CEO Scott Norrick (Kellogg ’91). “We go the extra mile and walk the walk in terms of how we source our food.”

First opened in Chicago in 2008 by chef David Friedman, Epic Burger has six locations in various neighborhoods throughout the city. The chain also operates a restaurant in Skokie.

Norrick said Friedman opened the first Epic Burger in the South Loop neighborhood after working as a chef at several other restaurants.

“Part of his inspiration was he was frustrated with how many additives were in all the processed food in most restaurants,” Norrick said. “His idea was to start an all-natural simple burger concept and be able to offer customers all natural food at a reasonable price point.”

In addition to many requests from customers to open an Epic Burger in Evanston, Norrick said several other factors contributed to the new location, such as a diverse downtown restaurant market and a large student population.

The business has been intending to create an Evanston location for a while, Norrick said. He added two of the chain’s restaurants are near downtown universities and the brand resonates well with college students, as proven by the large number of student consumers.

The Evanston restaurant specifically will look to form partnerships with the NU community, having previously done so with other Chicago-area universities including Loyola University Chicago.

“We very much want to be active in the local community,” Norrick said. “We absolutely want to look for opportunities to support clubs or groups.”

Epic Burger has worked with the NU community in the past. A Kellogg marketing class did a project on the business several years ago, in which students went to an Epic Burger location to conduct surveys with customers and eventually produced a report on Epic Burger’s overall consumer base, Norrick said.

“We definitely want to do more of (these kinds of projects),” he said. “We find them win-win and we learn from those as well.”

Epic Burger is part of a larger local trend in restaurants featuring customizable food, where customers prefer having more control over not only the ingredients but also their origins, said Paul Zalmezak, an economic development official.  

“They’re trying to have … high-quality ingredients as a way of carving out a segment of the hamburger market,” Zalmezak said. “Whatever happens in Chicago pretty much immediately happens in Evanston.”

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