Queensland’s Hello Harry burger chain is expanding and opened its first NSW store in Wollongong this month.
The licenced restaurant takes over the space where MoChi dumpling house used to be on Keira Street.
Owner Shane Bryant, a former military man, opted for a soft opening just before the Queen’s Birthday long weekend but boasted business has been brimming.
“The public holiday just gone we were absolutely smashed, we had people out the door,” he said.
“Wollongong’s lucky where they’ve got some really good burger joints [already] in the area.”
Mr Bryant said his store’s point of difference will be the style of burgers along with fortnightly specials that will include new food or shakes for a limited time.
I resigned in August, I rung my partner up and said ‘I just resigned’ and she said ‘well you better find something to do’Shane Bryant
Types of burgers include a mix of American style creations plus a Middle Eastern style with chickpeas, the Aussie and a crumbed barramundi burger (gluten free buns available on any).
Hospitality is a new “challenge” for Mr Byrant who left a decade of military work behind him last August.
“I was GM for an international security company, so my job was to deploy explosive detection jobs to look for explosives, weapons, ammunition on high profile sights,” he said.
“I resigned in August, I rung my partner up and said ‘I just resigned’ and she said ‘well you better find something to do’.”
Mr Bryant said he was scouring Google while laying on the lounge late one night, looking for any type of business opportunity that may suite.
He wanted to thank his partner, Bernadette Good, for her support in the new venture, “she’s in here every spare moment”.
We just want to have that friendly, Happy funky vibe when people come in the shop.Shane Bryant
The biggest thing that excites Mr Bryant about opening a funky burger restaurant in the heart of Wollongong is being able to chat to everyday people.
“It’s a different side that I’ve never really had to do before. I’ve gone from one environment to a totally different one,” he said.
“I always tell my friends I’ve gone from bombs to burgers.”