HUMBOLDT PARK — A classic burger spot offering only carryout and delivery has opened in Humboldt Park.
Bianca’s Burgers is being run out of a commercial kitchen at 3220 W. Grand Ave. by siblings Rafael Royal and Elizabeth Royal.
The two built the restaurant around carryout and delivery, rather than dine-in service, a growing trend in the midst of the pandemic.
Bianca’s Burgers is all about no-frills American food: burgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwiches and sides like homemade onion rings and sweet potato fries. The burgers are made with halal beef patties topped with a choice of fixings and sandwiched between toasted brioche buns.
“The really big burgers with foie gras and all that — I think that’s amazing. It’s something you do for a special occasion,” Rafael Royal said. “We want to do something just because you’re hungry. We want to make sure it’s as familiar as possible.”
The siblings, who are of Panamanian descent, said they were inspired by their global upbringing in suburban Rolling Meadows.
“Most of our friends had parents that had just moved to America. They were Indian, Korean, Mexican,” Rafael Royal said. “When we’d eat at each other’s houses, we never got to eat American food, so we all became obsessed with American food. It’s like a treat.”
The siblings have worked in the restaurant industry for years. Rafael Royal, who lives in Pilsen, most recently worked at Chop Shop in Wicker Park and stopped working there not long after the pandemic hit. Elizabeth Royal, who lives in suburban Lake in the Hills, works part-time for STK Steakhouse Downtown.
The siblings took a leap and opened Bianca’s Burgers Aug. 4, hoping to someday leave the business to Elizabeth Royal’s 15-year-old daughter, Bianca, who has helped out around the kitchen.
Not only do mom and uncle want to pass on the business, they’re hoping their success can support the teen’s ambitions a few years down the road.
“Every burger is going to help Bianca pay for college. As horrible and self-promoting as that sounds, that’s actually true,” Rafael Royal said.
So far, Bianca’s Burgers has been a success. Rafael Royal said they’ve gotten 25-30 orders a day while relying on on social media and word-of-mouth.
They hope to someday open a brick-and-mortar restaurant with dine-in service, but for now they’re content growing their carryout and delivery business — and getting quality family time in the process.
On nearly every bag that goes out for delivery and pickup, Bianca writes “#BiancaLovesYou” or another heartfelt message, which customers have come to appreciate, the siblings said.
“We’re in here cooking in the morning, in here cooking in the night. We’re here because we want to feed you,” Elizabeth Royal said.
Cat-Su Sando Opens In Same Kitchen
A second carryout and delivery-only restaurant serving Japanese street food opened Monday in the same commercial kitchen as Bianca’s Burgers.
Restaurant industry veterans Will Schlaeger (Next, Saison, Blackbird) and Shawn Clendening (Oriole, Saison, Blackbird) are behind the restaurant, called Cat-Su Sando.
Like its name suggests, Cat-Su Sando is focused on katsu sandwiches, a Japanese street food staple. Also on the menu is Japanese grilled skewers, or kushiyaki, as well as Japanese savory pancakes, or okonomiyaki.
The owners plan to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant in 2021, according to a news release. Until then, they plan to operate out of the commercial kitchen for carryout and delivery and do pop-ups across the city.
Cat-Su Sando is open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Friday and 11 a.m.-midnight Saturday- Sunday for pickup and delivery within a 3-mile radius through Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub and Postmates.
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