After a two month delay, Boardwalk Fresh Burgers and Fries opened in Hoboken last Thursday, May 1. The Hoboken location is the newest addition to the Boardwalk franchise, which got its start in 1981 in a mini mall in White Marsh, Maryland, serving only french fries inspired by the ones served on the Ocean City, Maryland boardwalk.
While the concept may come from Maryland, with two native Jersey boys — Brian Malloy and Jesse Bartley — at the helm, the Hoboken location definitely represents their home state. Brian and Jesse live in Hoboken, but grew up in Hazlet and spent their childhoods on the Jersey Shore, a place that’s never far from their minds.
“We were considering other franchises but we kept going back to the shore and the boardwalk concept,” Brian said.
They had worked together in restaurants before, Jesse as a server and Brian as kitchen staff. Like many, they fantasized about owning a restaurant, and now after fulfilling their dream, they feel indebted to their staff, who kept the restaurant afloat during a hectic opening.
“I’ve known some of these guys a month and some 72 hours, but I would take a bullet for any of them,” Jesse said of their camaraderie.
Corporate gave the pair an unusual amount of freedom with the new franchise, even allowing them to tailor the menu to Jersey taste buds. Some of these new menu items include the Sinatra Burger, the Hoboken Heater Cheesesteak (invented by Brian), and their cheese fries, all of which I was lucky enough to sample. The Sinatra Burger is topped with marinara, mozzarella cheese and basil from Vito’s Deli in Hoboken, a clear indication of how much they want to work with fellow business owners in town.
The Hoboken community is important to Brian and Jesse, and they’re demonstrating their dedication with programs like Burgers for B’s, which gives discounts to students for good grades (two “B” grades=10% off meal, three or more “B” grades=15% off meal, and straight A’s=20% off). Municipal workers in Hoboken get 10% off their meals, and the restaurant accepts Duck Bills from Stevens students.
Boardwalk Fresh Burgers and Fries is an inexpensive and delicious stop for lunch, dinner, or a post-bar snack. It’s also BYOB. Bring your friends, and welcome Boardwalk Burgers to the neighborhood.