It’s been all quiet on the Wahlburgers front for about a year, but the Boston-based burger bar from brothers Mark, Donnie and Paul Wahlberg still plans to open in downtown Raleigh this year.
A company spokesperson said Wahlburgers is projected to open this fall at 319 Fayetteville St. It will move into the former Oxford gastropub space, next door to ABC11, on the ground floor of The Hudson Raleigh condominiums.
It will be the first North Carolina location for the restaurant. The Raleigh franchise will be owned by Greg Pranzo, who opened another Wahlburgers location in Myrtle Beach, S.C., last October.
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“Raleigh continues to be an important market for Wahlburgers,” Pranzo said. “As of right now, we plan to open this fall and are excited to finally bring our burgers and hospitality to the city. We are grateful for all of the support we have received from our fans in the area and look forward to opening in the coming months.”
Wahlburgers first opened in 2011 in Hingham, Mass., a suburb of Boston, and has since opened locations from coast to coast and from Florida to Michigan. For the past three years an A&E reality show of the same name has followed the famous brothers – both Donnie and Mark are successful actors – as they run the business.
The company announced in September 2016 – almost a year ago – that it would bring a location to Raleigh and posted frequently on a Wahlburgers Raleigh Facebook page, featuring photos of burgers, fries and shakes, as well as a Wahlberg brother here and there.
But since then, the page has mostly been used as a place for Triangle residents to when the restaurant might open. A peek through the brown paper in the future Wahlburgers’ window shows a mostly completed restaurant, but with construction still to be done.
Shortly after Wahlburgers set its sights on Raleigh, some downtown restaurant owners pushed back and said national chains should look elsewhere, adding that they could pose a threat to the thriving local food scene with independent restaurateurs. Others have posted on the Raleigh Wahlburgers Facebook page that they’re eager for the Triangle franchise to open.
The restaurant features burgers stacked with a variety of toppings, sandwiches, salads, frappes and floats and a children’s menu.
More Wahlburgers are planned for the Carolinas, with possible locations in Charleston and Charlotte previously reported, but the company said there were no other updates to comment on.
Drew Jackson; 919-829-4707; @jdrewjackson