If you’re dying to try out the new Bareburger location on Austin Street in Forest Hills, a word of advice: get there early. We swung by during the restaurant’s soft launch this week, and were greeted by a line out the door at shortly after 7 p.m.
It’s not hard to understand why. In a neighborhood with a lot of more conventional restaurant choices — and its fair share of big chains — Bareburger is something new.
The restaurant, which opened its first location in 2009 in Astoria, has grown by leaps and bounds in less than three years, opening multiple locations in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens.
Now Forest Hills gets to take a crack, and already the place seems to be a hit. On A recent weeknight visit nearly every table in the narrow restaurant space — which used to be a salon — was occupied.
Everything, from the menu to the cleaning supplies, is brought in with sustainability in mind. Organic, grass-fed beef burgers — and beef is definitely the most conventional choice you can make. The menu includes wild boar patties, ostrich, bison, you name it, and everything is sustainable and organically fed and grown.
You won’t find any beers you’re likely to have heard of: just organic.
You won’t find name brand soda: just organic.
“Our mission is to provide, wonderful cuisine, organically grown. Everything we serve is pasture-raised, not commercial,” said Debra Jans, who’s been with the company since 2009. “Our customers are a mix of everyone. Some people really want to eat at places that offer organics, others just love a good burger.”
Richard Lin, who opened the store with his wife J.J., said Austin Street was a good fit for the restaurant because they saw a need locally for a restaurant that served food with an organic focus, and the Bareburger name was quickly becoming well-established elsewhere.
“Forest Hills deserves an organic option,” Lin said. “This is definitely the type of area that needs an organic place, and we wondered ‘Why don’t we have one already?’”
In business for less than a week, Jans said Forest Hills customers have been very curious, and very eager to try things out.
“It’s been great so far,” she added. “It’s exactly what we expected. People have been asking a lot of questions, and have been very welcoming.”