If a big old juicy burger sounds like a great summer meal, Lucy’s Burgers brings a new flair to the classic grill favorite. It’s one of the newest additions to the White Bear area and features all the mouthwatering burgers imaginable.
Lucy’s Burgers, which opened at the beginning of April, was an idea that co-owners Rob Scott and Joel Kunza developed in response to a lack of dining choices in the area—a “mom and pop” burger place, but with a twist, they say.
“Our staple burgers have exceeded my expectation,” says Scott. “Our chef has done a wonderful job coming up with some unique burgers that are going to be different than [what] anybody has really ever had.”
Scott and Kunza searched for a location for Lucy’s Burgers for a year or two. When they found the location in a strip mall next to another restaurant and movie theater, they took on the challenge of opening a restaurant. Neither Scott nor Kunza had previous restaurant experience; both having vested interests in other fields (Scott owns an IT company, and Kunza is co-owner of a different business). They worked on the project for about seven months.
“We decided we wanted to hire qualified people to help us run the place,” Scott says. “It’s their experience that’s going to take Lucy’s across the finish line and make it successful.”
Two of those qualified people are general manager Tony Benshoof, and their chef, Jason Gunderson, who brings the culinary creativity and flair. “His menu of burgers are tremendous and are receiving outstanding reviews from everyone,” says Kunza. “Where he sets himself and Lucy’s apart from other burger restaurants are his burger moments, onion rings and spices that he uses.” (Within 5 weeks of being open, Lucy’s was nominated in a prestigious poll as one of the top five onion ring spots in the Twin Cities.)
And Lucy’s burgers aren’t just a patty on a bun with some lettuce and tomato—though they have that option, too. What they’re claiming fame for are their “Juicy Lucy”-style burgers, each one stuffed with different cheeses and topped with homemade sauces, salsas and toppings.
“It’s just not your typical burger joint,” Scott says.
The restaurant has a handpicked beer and wine selection. Lucy’s has 14 taps, 12 for a variety of national and craft beers, one for root beer and one for hard cider, plus more canned and bottled beers.
“We worked hard to work with local breweries like Indeed, Surly and Barley John’s,” Scott says. “We want to have a local theme.”
And the local flair of the restaurant won’t stop at the beer. They’ve reached out to local co-ops to feature local ingredients as often as possible, to keep their food fresh and unique.
“We use as many fresh ingredients as we can, very little is frozen,” Scott says. “We kind of forced that on our staff because we bought very little freezer space—as much as our chef can will be his own creation; very little will be pre-made.”
In addition to delectable lunch and dinner selections, Lucy’s will also feature weekend breakfast hours—something Scott says he’s most excited about bringing to the area. On Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to noon, Lucy’s will offer traditional breakfast items, along with plenty of unique selections to echo their theme—think chorizo breakfast burritos and a Hawaiian breakfast.
And Scott and Kunza are pleased with the process. “The restaurant itself continues to evolve with new seating arrangements, including booths,” says Kunza. “We are excited to see it grow and take in all of the comments, which help us improve.”
Lucy’s Juicy Lucys
Traditional Juicy Lucy: Hamburger patty stuffed with American cheese, grilled to perfection and sure to please the traditionalist.
Italian Juicy Lucy: Part hamburger, part Italian sausage, all delicious. Loaded with pepperoni and fresh mozzarella, all topped with marinara sauce and served on a bun with garlic butter. Sure to satisfy that Italian craving in an American fashion.
Mexican Juicy Lucy: This patty is half-burger, half-chorizo, stuffed with Mexican queso, and ready to make every bite count. It’s topped with house-made pico de gallo and guacamole, then wrapped in a tortilla shell and seared to perfection. This dandy is perhaps one of the most unusual burgers on the menu.
Greek Juicy Lucy: Half-hamburger, half-lamb, and stuffed with feta cheese. Topped with a delicious cucumber sauce for an authentic and delectable experience. Opa!
Veggie burger: For the non-meat-eaters, this burger’s a tasty black bean patty, topped with pico de gallo and Bloody Mary mix.