Call it a burger coma.
The Coney Island outpost of Wahlburgers — the burger chain owned by famous siblings Mark, Donnie, and Paul Wahlberg — will temporarily close its doors this winter for the second year in a row, the company’s vice president of marketing confirmed.
Cooks at the Stillwell Avenue spot — located at Bowery Street, just two blocks from the Riegelmann Boardwalk — will flip the location’s last patty of the year on Dec. 2, and the restaurant will re-open sometime in the spring under the same management, according to company executive Katie Piepiora, who added that the company will offer job opportunities to existing workers when the restaurant re-opens.
An eatery employee said business slowed after Coney’s bustling sunny season came to a close, a trend Pierpiora also acknowledged.
“Coney Island is heavily dependent on tourism and the busy seasonal traffic,” she said.
Honchos at the Massachusetts-based burger joint, which franchises its locations to independent operators, first closed the Coney location in September 2017 — roughly two years after it opened in August 2015 — citing management “restructuring.” Months later, the parent company re-opened the eatery’s doors in May 2018 under new management, Piepiora confirmed.
Amid last year’s temporary closure, a New York Post report alleged that the first franchise group that operated the eatery was having financial troubles, which prompted it to fall behind on bills for the restaurant and prevented it from opening a second planned outpost in Times Square.
The parent company no longer plans to open a Times Square location, according to Piepiora, who added that the Wahlburgers’s burger-loving reps are continuing to look for more Big Apple–based locations to expand to.
“At this time, we do not have plans to open a restaurant in Times Square, but continue to grow and look for restaurant locations that provide us and our franchise partners with the best opportunity for success, including within New York, and are excited about where the brand is headed,” she said.
The city’s Health Department shut down the chain’s only location on the distant isle of Manhattan earlier this month, after it failed a health inspection, according to Eater New York.
Besides the Coney spot, Wahlburgers’s only other Empire State outpost is located on bucolic Long Island, according to Piepiora, who added that the chain has 28 total locations currently open across the U.S. and Canada.