Amazingly, Burger Bar 419 is opening up a new location on Monroe Street today. Firstly, Bar 145 serves up smashing burger approximately five hundred feet away. Secondly, Bar 145 is essentially the same venue as the new Burger Bar, also with a big bar area, live bands, and will probably appeal to the same crowds. The co-owners of the new BUrger Bar location own very popular restaurants such as Star Diner and Jed’s, and I hear they also operated Avenue Bistro. When I offered to write a review of Burger Bar a month ago, that was in comparison to other options in South Toledo, namely Doc Watson’s, not against the elite of hamburger nation, Bar 145.
But even the owners of Star Diner and Jed’s are vulnerable to bad business. There used to be a nice restaurant down the street from my house called the Chop House. One of those enforced dress code places. Then, the property became Table 44, notorious for serving fresh, wild caught rainbow trout from Canada, which I knew to be a terrible typo. Then, the Celtic bar, and now, Sidelines, which opened and closed years ago at a spot a mile down the road. Tony House, the co-owner of the original Burger Bar on Heatherdowns, laments that there isn’t a steady season in Toledo. There’s a show season at the Stranahan Theater that House and company capitalize on, and that’s about it.
Still, House claims to go through five hundred pounds of ground beef a week, probably at the same pace as Bar 145. Burger Bar’s meat is from Elmore, Ohio, and Bar 145 orders the same type of product from Montana. Both get their brioche from Strachn’s Bakery. Both hamburger patties are a third of an inch thick. Both offer a variety of unique takes on the traditional burger. In fact, the only difference I remember between the two restaurants is how the chuck patties from Burger Bar come in the form of balls, individually pressed by the cooks, indicating freshness, whereas the patties at Bar 145 are uniformly pressed in Michigan, ready to go when the shipment arrives.
How will Bar 145 and Burger Bar 419 compete with each other? And which restaurant goes bankrupt first?