Penrith's main drag is about to get a whole lot busier. The reason, predictably, is burgers. This time they're from Hashtag Burgers’ Down N’ Out, the burger collective’s In-N-Out-(from the US) inspired pop-up. The temporary space is currently at Sir John Young Hotel in the CBD. There Down N’ Out was responsible for queues around the block during its Pokémon-burger promotion. Now Hashtag Burgers is opening this second Down N’ Out pop-up on Penrith’s High Street on Friday.
“We had a lot of people from Penrith coming to our CBD store; it kind of woke us up. If people are travelling this far for a burger there mustn’t be much going on around there," says Hashtag Burgers’ founder, Ben Kagan. “When we went to look around, the busiest restaurant in the area was Grill’d Burgers.”
Kagan, fellow Hashtag founder Archie Saliba and Down N’ Out chef Sebastien Cens will bring the same burgers and signature specials that are popular at their current pop-up. The first weekly burger special will be Cens’s mac’n’cheese burger. “We want to do the exact same thing in terms of food but we’ve got a lot more space, so we're going to bring in milkshakes and desserts,” says Kagan. “We'll have doughnuts and we'll look at doing some American classics like apple pie.”
Down N’ Out isn’t known for using classic recipes – Kagan says there’ll be lots of bacon, Oreos, peanut butter and other American ingredients and some unusual flavour combinations.
It will end up looking quite similar to the original; Kagan and Saliba are working with the same team that did the CBD pop-up. “The space is much bigger, so we're going to have a big graffiti mural. We want to build the vibe for drinking,” says Kagan.
The biggest difference to the original pop-up is their collaboration with Hope Estate beers, which will be on tap, and Small Bar Group’s Michael Broome and Penrith local Brett Vallis. While the Hashtag team is handling the kitchen, Vallis and Broome will manage the venue and run the bar. Kagan says there will be the option to spike each of the milkshakes with booze. Once the pop-up finishes, Vallis and Broome will open their own venue (a spirits and wine bar) in the same space.