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Highly Praised Durham Cocktail Bar Kingfisher Transforms to Outdoor Burger Joint

Kingfisher Cocktail Bar turns its parking lot into Queen Burger

Queen Burger burger
Erin Perkins is the editor of Eater Carolinas.

The owners of Durham’s Kingfisher cocktail bar, Sean Umstead and Michelle Vanderwalker, decided that they needed to do something new during the pandemic, since North Carolina has not allowed bars to reopen. Their pivot idea is to turn their parking lot into an outdoor burger bar, which will include 3,600 pounds of AstroTurf for that backyard feeling. Named Queen Burger, the new concept will offer smash burgers, vegan patties, bottled cocktails, and frozen drinks.

Umstead and Vanderwalker researched regional smash burgers and came up with their perfect burger, which includes griddled onions, hoop cheese, Duke’s mayo, and pickles.

Opening mid-August, Queen Burger will take every precaution to practice social distancing. High-top tables will encourage customers to eat, drink, and exit, without too much mingling/possibly passing on COVID-19.

Once open, Queen Burger will donate 15 percent of its profits to Durham nonprofit We Are, which works to extend anti-racist education in schools.

Kingfisher [Official]
North Carolina Bars Sue Governor’s Office for Right to Reopen [ECAR]