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Smashburger Replacing Part of Former La Grange Borders

The burger chain will open its 11th Chicagoland location in the northwestern part of the former bookstore, which has been closed since last year.

The first new business in the former Borders in the heart of downtown La Grange (Hillgrove Avenue and La Grange Road) will be the 11th Chicagoland location of the Smashburger restaurant chain, slated to open later in November.

Founded in 2007 by fast-food chain veteran Tom Ryan, Smashburger has quickly grown to 178 locations nationwide. Its name refers to its burger-cooking style: dropping never-frozen beef meatballs onto a flat grill, then using a specialized tool to “smash” the meat into a patty, a process that the restaurant says lets the meat retain its juices and promotes a more evenly-cooked and better-tasting burger.

“We find that [La Grange] has got a great demographic population; it’s got a mix of residential as well as business,” said Smashburger spokeswoman Stacie Lange. “People love burgers, and they need a better burger restaurant like Smashburger in La Grange.”

The chain offers varying sizes of burger for varying sizes of appetite, on five different types of buns. It rounds out its menu with grilled and crispy chicken, salads, veggie burgers and hot dogs, along with unique sides like oil-and-rosemary-garnished fries, fried pickles, sweet-potato fries and very lightly crisped carrots and green beans. (Check out the Elmhurst location’s menu here.)

Some of its offerings are region-specific; for instance, Chicagoland stops get the option of a pretzel-roll bun, the Windy City burger with cheddar, onions, lettuce, tomato and mustard, and Goose Island on the beer list.

Yes, they also have a beer list.

“The alcohol allows us to be appropriate for a variety of occasions,” Lange said. “People who are looking for just a quick bite to eat at lunch, they can come in and get exactly that; people who are looking to, say, celebrate a guys’ night out or a girls’ night out or a big win after a game, we offer ourselves to that occasion as well.”

The restaurant will take up about 2,000 sq. ft. of the former Borders and have eat-in seating for 60.

Borders vacated the property after the chain declared bankruptcy in 2011.

Alvarez December 09, 2012 at 05:57 PM
I would have preferred a Barnes and Noble store as well. I even sent them an "invitation" to come to La Grange! Their response was..."We will get back to you after the Holiday Season." :( It seems it will be too late, if Smashburger opens up. I MISS Borders!
Jeannie December 13, 2012 at 11:13 PM
Everyone misses Borders. It's my understanding that restaurants bring in the most tax dollars to the Village. I'm for anything that will bring down our taxes.
Darren McRoy December 13, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Or at the very least, keep them from going up.
Deb Rn January 12, 2013 at 03:54 PM
The 7-11 is being remodeled for Little People's expansion
Andrea January 20, 2013 at 09:51 PM
I do think we have a lot of burger and pizza places but we do need to get more business in! Regardless of what type of business it is its better then an empty store front! Ideal would be a Buffalo Wild Wings next door!

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