The legendary Hamburger Mary’s is headed back to Portland and sparking a fury of excitement, especially from the gay community that remembers the flamboyant and popular burger joint from years past. The franchise announced it's planning to make the Rose City its 11th outlet, but has kept the location under wraps while negotiating a lease.
Mary and the team are keeping the devoted on their toes through coy announcements to its Facebook following of 600
It was originally reported by Portland food blogger Byron Beck that the new location would be near the Burnside triangle, but Beck's latest dish is that Mary’s will take over the spot left behind when McCormick & Schmick’s moved last summer. Details have yet to be confirmed.
Mary’s, which was started in 1972 in the Castro district of San Francisco, claims to be the only national franchise with a concept specifically marketed toward gays and lesbians. Mary's first opened its doors in Portland in the '70s where the Regal Fox Cinema Towers now sits; it moved location once before closing in the 1990s. Mary’s has a history of opening and closing restaurants around the country but the franchise has experienced a resurgence since being bought in 2007 by brothers Ashley and Brandon Wright of Chicago and Dale Warner of West Hollywood, Calif.
Across the country each of the locations features a bar and restaurant, but vary in decor and style. The
Enthusiasts are ready to see the country-and-western themed bar return to its old stomping grounds. We'll have to wait and see if this time Mary's is here to stay.
Jessica Hoch is the online reporter for Oregon Business.