Ben's Burgers West End
Nick and Ben Chiu’s Ben’s Burgers was a result of timing – a happy collision of opportunity and ambition. So maybe it was always going to come with compromises, the tiny Winn Lane venue’s lack of flexibility being the most obvious.
This West End offshoot (formerly known as The Bleachers) has heap more space, allowing the Chiu brothers (who also run Apartment) to stretch out and do what they please.
Taking over the former premises of West End drinking spot Sling, out front it’s the typical Ben’s experience: competitively priced burgers in coolly tiled digs, with a short selection of craft beers on tap.
But this location also adds table service and an extended menu, which includes extra burger options and sides such as beef short ribs; chilli corn; and a bacon-and-cheese waffle. The menu is by Ben Devlin (formerly head chef at Esquire), a minor partner in the business.
In the backyard the venue really comes alive, leveraging what was once a breezy cocktail courtyard to establish a casual drinking garden (food ordered at the bar), replete with bleachers seating and a regulation basketball hoop.
It amounts to good, simple food in a communal atmosphere at excellent prices. That soft-serve machine goes okay, too.