Hey Hoodburger! The ’80s rang and wants its restaurant design back! But please don’t give it to them: your new Duncraig store is a warm-hued fantasy of family restaurant nostalgia that residents in the northern corridor – and blow-in journalists from further afield – have quickly fallen for.
The terracotta tiling. Those tagine-like red lights hovering overhead. The frosted mustard glass panels that box in the mezzanine dining area – a throwback to the space’s past life as a two-storey real estate office. The outside-inside vibe of the counter whose tiled roof honours the legendary “red roof” design of ’80s and ’90s-era Pizza Huts. I love it all.
I can’t tell if the other diners here on a Monday night – couples double-dating, families grabbing dinner, a social basketball team – dig these retro flourishes as much as I do, but at the very least, they seem to appreciate the easygoing, relaxed atmosphere this design promotes. For co-owner Matt Shaw, Hoodburger’s newest opening is a long way from the brand’s “rogue” early days in 2016 when he and brother Tom – Hoodburger’s other co-founder – began grilling and selling burgers outside bowls clubs and nightclubs.
“It’s evolving,” says Matt. “We’re seeing such a varied group of people. When we first started, [our customer base] was mostly burger enthusiasts and young people. Now I really feel like it is a family restaurant. I love hearing parents tell us that their kids love coming to Hoodburger.”
Since laying down permanent roots at Northbridge’s Old Shanghai food court in 2018, the Shaw brothers have been busy growing Hoodburger. Duncraig is their fifth venue – after Northbridge, they opened outposts in Inglewood, Ardross and Mandurah – and it is easily the boys’ largest venue with capacity for 120 diners. It’s also a venue with presence. As you turn off Warwick Road, the space’s crisply lit interiors are clearly visible from the street.
While Hoodburger Duncraig ticks the boxes for new and shiny, the food offering sticks to the tried and tested. Smashed burger patties, chicken tenders and a smashed pork rib meat patty feature in the core menu of 15 burgers that includes the McDonald’s-inspired Ribwich. The gangly fries remain golden and crunchy, and a small serve still contains more spears of fried potato than your GP might consider appropriate. Craft beers and nicely priced glasses of wine are available from the bar, as are liquor-spiked milkshakes. In short, it’s very much comfort-eating business as usual.
In future, Matt hopes to introduce more dessert options to the menu, as well as add an al fresco area to the front of the restaurant over the summer.
1/6 Glengarry Rd, Duncraig
Daily 10:30am – 9pm