Smashburger opens in Troy

By: Terry Oparka, | Troy Times | Published August 22, 2012

A new burger joint has opened its doors near John R in Troy.

Smashburger, nestled next to a mattress shop in front of the bustling Troy Sports Center, opened its second restaurant in metro Detroit last week.

Menu items include 100 percent Angus beef burgers, haystack onion rings, sweet potato fries and signature Smash fries — French fries tossed with rosemary olive oil and garlic. They also serve veggie burgers and frites; grilled and crispy chicken sandwiches; Michigan harvest, Cobb, spinach and goat cheese, and Caesar salads; and Häagen-Dazs shakes and Vernor’s floats.

In each market, a signature burger is developed based on regional preferences. At the two metro Detroit restaurants, the signature burger is the Motor City burger, made with Angus beef and served with two slices of American cheese, haystack onions, ketchup, mustard and pickles on a pretzel bun. Their market research indicated these are preferred tastes in this area.

Jeff Neely, CEO of LaBelle Management, the company that owns the franchise for the Troy and West Bloomfield Smashburgers, said the food is what convinced the company to go with the Smashburger brand when looking to open a burger joint.

“The quality is the best. We wanted to be associated with only the best,” he said. They were drawn to Troy because its community values are reflective of “middle America,” he said.

In an effort to give back to the community, the restaurant will sell Smashbucks for $5 apiece through August, redeemable at the next visit for $5 off, and the restaurant will donate $5 for every Smashbuck purchased to the Boys & Girls Club of Troy.

The Boys & Girls Club of Troy aims to provide a safe, positive place for young people to grow, learn, play, interact and develop into self-reliant, responsible contributing members of the community.

Neely noted that the new restaurant created 42 jobs. “We’re very happy to be here,” he said.

Troy City Planner Brent Savidant explained that the parcel where the restaurant is located was rezoned from office to business in 2010, a time when the office vacancy rate was hovering near 40 percent. Savidant said the developer, Dennis Bostic, thought the different zoning would improve the marketability and redevelopment potential for the site. “It’s (now) a busy spot,” Savidant said.

Mayor Janice Daniels said Smashburger is yet another reason to enjoy living, working, playing and dining in Troy.

Smashburger is located at 1735 E. Big Beaver.