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The birth of FREEDOM BURGER!!

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Postby TechJunkie on 07 Feb 2017 00:03

The birth of FREEDOM BURGER!!

The best burger joint on the beach closed -- what what?

Their franchise got yanked because they opened a gay bar upstairs and the franchise corporation even admits it. (But says that the "gay" part wasn't the issue, snicker.)

So should they reopen as Freedom Burger or Liberty Burger?

I don't care what they call it, I'm headed there soon to support them. Regardless of the politics they made great burgers and I don't want to see them go out of business. Especially after surviving all of the road raising.

A gay bar opens upstairs. Downstairs, Burger & Beer Joint loses its franchise.

A black tarp hangs over what used to be the Burger & Beer Joint in South Beach as well as a dark cloud over why it closed.

Three months after a gay night club opened on the second floor of the country’s first Burger & Beer Joint, the Boca Raton-based franchise has revoked the local restaurant’s right to use the name, menu and concept.

The locals say they are being targeted for leasing the upstairs to a longtime South Beach gay club promoter, and they point to a letter they were sent shortly after The Mix bar and lounge opened, which states the club “could have a substantial negative impact” on Burger & Beer Joint’s reputation.

“It’s outright discrimination,” said Carlos Ekneiro, one of three partners who own the South Beach restaurant, which is now operating without a name and concept. “How can they say because they’re doing gay events that it’s hurting their brand?”

The national company, B&B Franchise Group, says the restaurant at 1766 Bay Rd., is hiding behind a gay-rights issue and has a long history of flouting corporate rules, including the fact they opened any bar without first getting approval.

An attorney for B&B Franchise said Ekneiro and his two partners, fellow Venezuelan investors, never went through the proper approval process to open the club on the second floor, where the restaurant also has its kitchen.

B&B Franchise also canceled licensing at two other Burger & Beer Joint restaurants, one at Dolphin Mall, the other at CityPlace in West Palm Beach, also owned by Ekneiro and his partners.

“Variance of any kind is injurious to the brand — no matter what kind of bar is opened. It’s not something that would have been approved,” said B&B’s attorney Charles Forlidas. “We know it’s South Beach. We welcome the gay community.... It’s the fact they brought in a third party.”

Tony Ferro, a longtime South Beach club promoter, said Ekneiro approached him about opening The Mix and that he later met with a B&B corporate representative.

“They knew what we were doing. It had to be approved with them, which they did. They were OK with the whole concept,” Ferro said. “We don’t sell their food. We don’t brand ourselves together with B&B at all. I don’t see how they would associate us with them.”

Ferro said he had no idea why his bar would cost the restaurant its franchise. “When they told me, I was mind boggled,” he said. “The only thing I can think of was we’ve had a drag queen at the door. I’m really not sure.”

The after-hours club had a separate entrance and operated as an upstairs, 2,000-square-foot “speakeasy,” Ferro said, after Burger & Beer Joint had closed for the night.

Ferro said he’s never before felt discriminated against because he’s gay.

“It was chilling. In 2017, we shouldn’t be experiencing this. Especially in South Beach,” he said. “Gay dollars made B&B. We’ve been there since the beginning.”

A flyer touting “South Beach’s New Gay Hotspot,” sharing the restaurant’s address, was referenced in a letter the franchise sent Ekneiro’s attorney in early November, within weeks of The Mix opening on Oct. 27. The letter says the nightclub is an “unapproved use” that “could have a substantial negative impact on B&B and the associations made by consumers or the general public with the B&B System.”

B&B’s attorney points to the other stripped franchises, specifically the one in West Palm Beach, “and it did not have a gay bar in it,” Forlidas said. Proof there is no discrimination, he says, is that the group still runs two other franchises, one in Mary Brickell Village and another in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“If you operate well, we don’t have anything to say about it,” Forlidas said. “If they haven’t filed a lawsuit it’s because they don’t have any grounds to sue us.”

Ekneiro said the company has been using a host of “made up” reasons to cancel their franchise agreements, and that when they referenced the gay club, they went too far.

His South Beach restaurant reopened without a name Monday, as will his Dolphin Mall location on Wednesday. He says he is considering opening both with a new name: Freedom Burger or Liberty Burger.

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Postby kryptonite on 07 Feb 2017 12:00

Re: The birth of FREEDOM BURGER!!

+1

they can call it whatever they want.. i luvd me a mustang sally, but fukem (yes pun intend)

all the best to the owners. hope they get thru this.
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Postby TechJunkie on 07 Feb 2017 15:16

Re: The birth of FREEDOM BURGER!!

I guess they'll have to call everything different names, but as you can see from the Nexxt Cafe's menu they don't really have to change the food that much.

I'll just keep ordering the Thunder Road and see if they know what to do.
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Postby coach on 07 Feb 2017 15:32

Re: The birth of FREEDOM BURGER!!

Totally a gay thing. B&B has had other clubs above their restaurant and never lost the license.

Hey, just as well, now we won't have to be giving our money to the corporate overlords. If anything, this'll help their business.

As far as the name, "No Name Beer & Burgers".
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Postby coach on 07 Feb 2017 15:49

Re: The birth of FREEDOM BURGER!!

Title President
Herman, William
318 S US HIGHWAY 1, SUITE 210
JUPITER, FL 33477


Title PRE
HERMAN, BILL
4000 N FEDERAL HWY
SUITE 214
BOCA RATON, FL 33431


I think the second one is their official office.

He seems to be off social media, but I think this is him
https://www.linkedin.com/in/bill-herman-16b147115

All of this is public information, so feel free to share.
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Postby pod on 07 Feb 2017 16:50

Re: The birth of FREEDOM BURGER!!

I think it's funny they are reusing "The Mix" for the name of the bar. I guess it's been gone for so long that no one outside of TNL will remember what it was.

That being said, what in the hell is B&B Corporate (didn't even know there was such a thing...) thinking? Regardless of your opinions on the gay culture, you don't run up against it, especially in a contentious time like this (where everyone is apparently a Nazi) and especially in the middle of LGBTQXYZ+ HQ, aka South Beach.

If they had beef with the local franchise, maybe they should have driven down here to discuss it.
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Postby kryptonite on 08 Feb 2017 13:09

Re: The birth of FREEDOM BURGER!!

pod- saddens me to look back and can say sobe lost any remaining soul it had 10+/- years ago lol!

vanilla pudding is what is left and seems the only thing on that menu from here on...

please someone prove me wrong! pleeeeeze!!!
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Postby TechJunkie on 09 Feb 2017 00:42

Re: The birth of FREEDOM BURGER!!

I stopped by there today and yeah they're definitely still open, just all of the branding is covered now. Didn't have time to go in there but I think I know where I'm going to lunch on Friday. I'm just curious to hear it from the staff and see what they're doing about the menu and stuff. Maybe they picked a name by now.

That place has been such a rathole over the last few years that it's odd that a promoter operating upstairs would be more of a problem for the Beer & Burger brand than whatever horrifying stuff happened to the restrooms at that place over the last year. You've got a restroom with a bare concrete floor that smells like homeless people peeing with a glass window where people in the bar room next to it can see in -- and you abruptly cancel the franchise over an independent promoter operating upstairs? If that really sums up Beer & Burger's priorities for their branding then maybe that brand kind of sucks anyway.
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Postby The Honky Tonk Man on 09 Feb 2017 13:35

Re: The birth of FREEDOM BURGER!!

Burger places are a dime a dozen, they bubble up and all of sudden disappear. The reason is simple, burgers make poor take out or delivery food.

CL
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Postby pod on 09 Feb 2017 13:39

Re: The birth of FREEDOM BURGER!!

The Honky Tonk Man wrote:Burger places are a dime a dozen, they bubble up and all of sudden disappear. The reason is simple, burgers make poor take out or delivery food.

CL


Burger market is oversaturated. Last decade, everyone thought they could have a go at a burger joint. BnB survived the wars, somewhat. It's mainly now places like BurgerFi that you see.

The little one-offs are all gone.

And yeah, burgers are messy. Best to eat-in or grill them yourself at home. Which is what I do.
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