“It makes you feel really good,” he said of the positive feedback.
The honor comes just as Burgher’s celebrates its new location. Last week, Burgh’ers, which features all local and organic products, opened in the space next door to its original spot in the Creekside Plaza retail center.
While the cheerful former space featured a black-and-white tiled floor and a counter where customers could pick up their orders, the new establishment is a sleek sit-down restaurant reminiscent of a 1930s speakeasy.
“I love it,” Moletz said of the new location’s interior. “This is want is what we wanted to do when we first moved in.”
The new venue isn’t the only big change. Formerly a BYOB restaurant, Burgh’ers now specializes in prohibition-era cocktails. On the menu are sidecars, manhattans and gin fizzes. Like the food, the drinks are made from organic ingredients that include freshly-squeezed juices and homemade bitters and sours.
“We make everything in house,” Moletz said. “We wanted the bar to mirror what we do in the kitchen.”
While there are no drafts on tap yet, Burgh’ers is offering customers a variety of craft bottled beers, including all-natural brews from Oskar Blues.
The new decor also features reclaimed barnwood and a concrete bar counter made by a Slippery Rock-based artisan. Eerything in the restaurant, from the food to the embellishments, is eco-friendly, Moletz added.
In the summer, he said he also hopes to add a garden outside the restaurant where he can grow his own fruits and vegetables.
“We compost, and we recycle everything,” he said.
Unchanged are the restaurant’s mouthwatering burgers, most of which are named after different neighborhoods in Pittsburgh.
For example, the Polish Hill burger features caramelized onion, fried pierogi and cheddar cheese, while the Morningside burger is topped with an egg served sunny-side up, bacon and American cheese. The best-selling Shadyside burger is named for the upscale city neighborhood because it’s the most expensive burger to make, Moletz said.
Moletz, who recently moved to Cranberry from Shaler, said he soon plans to add more entrees—and gourmet hotdogs—to the menu. He’s already doing some extras, including an ahi tuna steak that will be on Friday's menu.
A former chef at Il Pizzaiolo in Mt. Lebanon, Moletz said he had long wanted to open a place specializing in burgers, which—along with pizza—are among his favorite foods. And while handcrafted burgers can be found around town these days at BRGR—which has locations in East Liberty and Cranberry—and Wingharts in Market Square, Moletz said Burgh’ers was the first gourmet burger joint in the region.
After a deal for a location in Lawrenceville fell through, Moletz admits he was skeptical of opening Burgh’ers so far north of the city. His fears seemed to be confirmed when customers didn’t exactly flock to the restaurant in the first month it was open.
“We were dead the first couple of weeks,” he said.
Then word spread about the burgers. Today, Moletz said the restaurant
is continually packed with customers from around the greater Pittsburgh area.
“We have a ton of regulars,” he said. “They love it.”