A few months ago there was a post on the Fatties Burger Appreciation Society (FBAS) – a very active and popular Facebook page – asking for a burger pop-up in Campbelltown. It didn’t go unnoticed. “As a bit of a joke I said, ‘If this post gets over 100 likes I'll make it happen’,” says co-founder of Hashtag Burgers, Ben Kagan, who’s also responsible for the upcoming Burgerpalooza. “It ended up getting well over 200 likes, and we were locked in. I called Archie [Hashtag co-owner Archie Saliba] and told him, 'We're going to Campbelltown’.”
The first of these three pop-ups will be on March 18 in nearby suburb Gregory Hills. Hashtag Burgers and local butcher Orangeville Meat Co will team up with one of Sydney’s most popular burger chefs to provide a one-off special event. “Each burger vendor is going to design a burger with ingredients from the area,” says Kagan. The first will feature Brad Johnson from the Dee Why Hotel making the Westside Burger. It has Orangeville Meat Co’s local Wagyu patty, a bolognaise sauce with local mince, double American cheese, jalapenos, Wild West sauce and pickles. Due to limited kitchen space no variations can be made on the day.
The event will be ticketed, costing $22.60. Each docket will get you entry for an hour, a burger and fries. The burgers will be sold at Orangeville’s restaurant, The adjoining car park will be filled with tables, chairs, overturned milk crates and tunes. “We'll be taking over the car park space with our Hashtag DJ’s signature blend of music; hip-hop, funk and that sort of thing.”
Orangeville will provide dessert – a bourbon, maple and vanilla milkshake topped with cream, bacon salt, crunchy pancetta and a bacon donut. Sydney Brewery will serve its award-winning brews from a mobile bar. Future events (dates have not been locked in yet) will feature burgers from chefs at Bar Luca and Chef’s Kitchen.
Kagan admits he and Saliba were surprised by the initial Facebook interest, but they’ve since seen why. “We started to notice at a lot of events – people were traveling from out west, making pilgrimages to the city to try all the different burgers,” says Kagan. “Even speaking to vendors like Sarah from Bar Luca, there's definitely a huge demand out west.”