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San Francisco Bay Area community news

Burger joint to open Menlo Park location

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Beth Winegarner
San Francisco Examiner
March 8, 2007

Jeffrey’s Hamburgers, the popular burger joint that has held steady while San Mateo’s downtown came to life, is now opening a second diner in Menlo Park on El Camino Real at a time when city leaders hope to boost downtown activity.

After 10 years of feeding San Mateo locals, owner Serge Karanov plans to open the new Jeffrey’s at 888 El Camino, just south of Santa Cruz Avenue, in three months.

That came as good news to fans who crowded into the red-and-chrome diner Sunday afternoon for heaping platters of fries, salads and fresh-grilled burgers.

“The food’s always good, and very consistent,” said San Mateo native Greg Roth, who has eaten at Jeffrey’s about once a week for the last eight years. “They serve my kind of food.”

Karanov bought the restaurant at the corner of First and B streets in San Mateo nearly 10 years ago. Jeffrey’s was named for the son of the original owner, who went on to run George’s Burgers in Walnut Creek.

Since then, downtown San Mateo has undergone radical changes, with the addition of a movie theater and new shops that draw hungry shoppers into the city.

Jeffrey’s grinds its chuck fresh every morning and makes everything in-house, a standard that has won its food numerous awards from local newspapers and the American Automobile Association, which named it one of the best hamburger restaurants on the West Coast.

“The only secret is a good day of honest work,” Karanov said. “It’s not hard to make a good hamburger. The only trick is making it all yourself.”

Before purchasing the Menlo Park site — once home to Henry’s Prime — Karanov investigated a number of storefronts in Redwood City, but said he had his doubts about the success of that city’s downtown.

Now, he’s hard at work designing the new site to make it look like a classic diner.

This story originally appeared in the San Francisco Examiner.

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Written by Beth Winegarner

March 8, 2007 at 6:43 AM

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