B52 Burger and Brew Opens New Lakeville Restaurant
Local restaurant B52 Burgers made a name for itself in the Twin Cities burger scene within just a few years of opening. After launching in suburban Inver Grove Heights in 2010, B52 Burger and Brew earned the distinction of being the only restaurant in the region to win the Twin Cities Burger Battle twice—first as the Burger Battle Champion in 2014 and then again in 2018 as the People’s Choice winner. Critical acclaim and steady customer growth over the years encouraged owner Brandon Bramscher to start thinking about opening a second location.
“Our model works really well in suburban areas,” he said. “Over the years you develop confidence, you get a grasp of market trends and financials, and at some point I knew I wanted to try something else.”
Financing barriers stall the project
Bramscher and his operations team began scoping out new locations in suburban Lakeville, but ran into a common obstacle for restaurants—financing.
“Restaurants are a red flag for a lot of lenders. So many go under and they think it's not worth the risk,” said Bramscher.
Bramscher came to an agreement with a well-respected local landlord. The landlord would purchase a property, and B52 Burger and Brew would sign on to a 10-year lease, effectively taking on some of the risk. Still, the partners faced barriers to financing. When a promising lender ended up turning down the project down after working extensively with Bramscher, the B52 Burger and Brew expansion came to a stand-still.
New lenders see the potential
After turning the project down, Bramscher’s would-be lender suggested reaching out to the Open to Business program. Bramscher connected with two Open to Business advisors who had experience in the restaurant industry, Laurie Crow and Kris Maritz. Both advisors saw B52 Burger and Brew’s steady growth, its strong business plan, and solid operations team and felt confident that they could find financing for the expansion. But it took time. After hours and hours of discussions, planning, and persistence, the Open to Business team found a bank that could see the potential and was willing to finance most of the B52 expansion project. Open to Business also provided a smaller loan that closed a small gap and fully funded the project budget.
“There is very little chance I would have found that bank without them,” Bramscher said. “I’m super proud that it came to fruition, and I have to thank Open to Business for making it happen.”
Award-winning burgers for Lakeville
The new B52 location is set to bring some of the best burgers in town—and new jobs—to Lakeville. Bramscher expects to hire up to 50 new employees to start, and that number will likely grow considering that the Inver Grove Heights location has 70 employees today.
Bramscher says customers can continue to expect a full service menu, a commitment to great food, and a connection to the local community at both B52 Burger and Brew locations.
“We love connecting with people, getting involved in high school sports, academics and the military. We can’t wait to get to know our new Lakeville community,” Bramscher said.
To taste test a burger for yourself, visit B52 Burger and Brew’s new location at 20751 Holyoke Ave, Lakeville, MN 55044 or learn more at B52burgerandbrew.com.