The location is 910 East Burnside — a coveted address, in the stomping grounds of Stumptown legends Le Pigeon, Union Jacks, and The Doug Fir. It's a beautifully big lot with enormous potential. What is Boogie Burger (a new venture one employee claimed shared ownership with Sassy's Bar & Grill) going to make of it?
This long-fallow car lot has become a simple burger and beer joint, with ample outdoor seating, an early reputation for classic rock, and befuddling hours. How can a place that closes at 8pm rake in the drunken dollar that wanders that corridor so broad-chestedly in the later hours? Also curious to me was how such a no-frills, undistinguished, fast-food style burger can be the primary offering in such a prime spot. Everything about the place, from the furniture, to the music, to the long-warehoused arcade games, to the amusement park-level fare, screams "un-ironic late 70s, borne of things we found when we leased the building." I like it for that, but I also worry for it. It is unabashedly non-competitive as a food offering, almost a middle finger in the face of our constant burger-tinkering, daring us to remember that we grew up eating this way. Is it an intentional throwback? Is it going to make it? How do I actually feel, and why am I trying to care? I don't know, but it's affordable, the service is nice, and the fries are good.
As with all new restaurants, many things will fill in as they hit their stride, and for Boogie Burger, foremost among those things will hopefully be an early-career Matthew McConaughey leaning against the wall outside, getting older while the girls stay the same age. Perhaps then the place will make sense.