Burgers...Italian style? That is the concept for Monzo Burger, a forthcoming new venture from Vancouver's Kitchen Table Group of restaurants, known for its powerhouse Italian restaurants across the city, like Ask For Luigi, Di Beppe, and Pizzeria Farina - among others.
KTG describes Monzo on the restaurant's website as "fast food the way it was meant to be," highlighting menu items like a "King Monzo," which is a "house made double patty cheeseburger with shredded iceberg lettuce, tomato, diced onions, sour pickles and [Monzo's] signature burger sauce."
Monzo continues: "We’ve taken our time and considered every detail to develop a menu of burgers, sides and drinks that simply tastes and feels great. From house-ground grass fed beef to hand-made chicken cutlets, soft serve gelato and beef fat fries, we’ve created our vision of burger utopia."
"The concept takes its cue from the energy and creativity of Milan’s ‘Paninari’ youth movement, delivering a one-of-a-kind experience where food, fashion and culture intersect," describes an Aug. 24 media release.
To that end, KTG has shared more details about the 88-seat restaurant/bar they posit as a "lively gathering space," including that Monzo Burger will be in a soft opening mode starting Sept. 1, with an official opening set for Sept. 9.
Monzo will be about "pitch-perfect executions of classic fast-food dishes, with subtle nods to Italian culture." The menu centres around their Monzo burgers (i.e. King Monzo) made with a custom beef grind cooked to order. There will also be a Milanese-style breaded chicken cutlet sandwich, fries cooked in beef fat, onion rings, and soft serve gelato.
For kids (bambini) there will be a special combo "pack" served in an Italian supercar with options like burgers, chicken strips, fries, or apple slices.
Kitchen Table is no stranger to burgers, mind you; one of its oldest and most successful ventures is Pourhouse, the Gastown speakeasy-style restaurant that's been open since 2009. The restaurant gained acclaim early on for its signature burger, and in recent years Pourhouse leaned into that side of the menu a bit more.
The address for Monzo Burger is given as 1401 Granville St, which also puts KTG in familiar territory with developer Westbank, with whom the restaurant group has a partnership. KTG's Giovane Caffe, for example, operates in Westbank's Deloitte Summit building and the Fairmont Pacific Rim, both in downtown Vancouver. Westbank's eye-catching Vancouver House is situated to the west of the Granville Bridge.
Monzo Burger will be occupying the Vancouver House space that was initially pegged for Momofuku back in 2019. Into a third year of waiting, however, as the COVID pandemic continued to affect the industry, celeb chef David Chang ultimately wound up backing out of the high-profile project.
It's been a busy time for KTG. Earlier this year they took over the former Oh Carolina space to launch an Italian market-cafe hybrid called Mercato di Luigi. Last summer, KTG opened the second Giovane Caffe in Vancouver as well as its gelato shop, Motoretta, which is at the base of the Fairmont Pacific Rim.
Monzo will be open daily from 11 a.m. to midnight.
Originally published on July 31, 2023 and updated with new information.