Not even head chef and founder Josh Arthurs could predict the size of the crowds at the last day of the Burgers by Josh pop-up in north Sydney. The burger he crafted for the big finish was called The Last Supper and it drew a 40-metre queue of burger fanatics outside the Upper Deck. “We served 1000 burgers that day, give or take a few,” he says.
Kept under wraps until now the next Burgers by Josh pop-up will be a kitchen takeover at The Annandale Hotel, starting April 1. Once an iconic music venue, The Annandale now hosts food and beverage pop-ups. “I went to many gigs at the Annandale when I was younger,” says Arthurs. “Being approached to sell my brand of burgers there has made it very personal for me.”
Arthurs’s journey upon leaving Dee Why’s Danno’s is remarkable. After hosting a number of successful one-night-only kitchen takeovers with a friend he set up in north Sydney, often selling out lunch and dinner. In less than a year his team has grown to 15 kitchen staff. He has confidence in his brand – his new location will put him in direct competition with burger heavyweights such as Mary’s, Jacks Newtown and Mister Gee’s food truck.
Three memorable burgers will make a comeback – the Scorpio, a spicy chicken burger with slaw, pickles and special sauce; The Last Supper, 12-hour smoked Angus patty including a Wagyu patty, pickles, crisps and hickory barbeque sauce; and the Angry Anderson, which includes a double Wagyu patty, crispy bacon, cheese and special sauce. The Lisa Simpson will return as the vegetarian option.
In addition to the broad range of beers served at the Annandale, Arthurs will collaborate with Eel River Brewing, a Northern Californian brewery, to bring kegs of its boutique beer to Australia for the first time. There will also be boozy milkshakes.
Burgers by Josh will occupy the Annandale for a month, but if the past year is anything to go by, we wouldn’t be surprised if the closing date is pushed back.