Better make it a double at Charm City Burger Co. in Deerfield Beach, because this critically lauded patty shack is multiplying.
After 15 years of slinging Wagyu burgers, deep-fried Oreos and sinful milkshakes, Charm City will relocate before year’s end to downtown Boca Raton — and replace its flagship location on Hillsboro Boulevard with a sandwich shop.
Longtime owners Evan David and Mike Saperstein have signed a five-year lease to open an upgraded, 2,200-square-foot Charm City two blocks from Mizner Park, replacing former Southern California-style Mexican restaurant Baja Cantina.
The bigger location, at 201 NW First Ave., represents “the next level of Charm City,” Saperstein told the South Florida Sun Sentinel this week — with additional dine-in and patio seating plus something the original eatery lacked: parking spaces. “I feel like we’re spoiled. There’s 30 spaces up there,” he said.
The fare will mirror Charm City’s existing menu of hamburgers, each crafted with ground chuck, brisket and short rib (except for The Emperor, a higher-end American Wagyu patty melt with aged Gruyère, arugula and truffle aioli).
Saperstein said Charm City’s flagship will remain open at least through December as construction wraps at the new Boca Raton location. Once Charm City Boca opens, the old location will be renovated to become the sandwich shop.
The road to their expansion began in June with a minor existential crisis, David said. After their landlord announced plans to sell the Deerfield Beach strip mall over the summer, the pair became concerned about the restaurant’s survival and signed a second lease in Boca Raton.
“We didn’t want to be in a tough situation, but we also didn’t want to leave Deerfield. But as it turns out, we like our new owners,” David said of their new landlord, Investments Limited, which owns a glut of commercial space in northern Broward and southern Palm Beach counties. “So now we have both locations. Everything is exciting now, especially in Boca and that whole area around the Brightline station.”
David and Saperstein have helped to evolve Boca Raton and Deerfield Beach’s dining landscape from the moment they debuted Charm City in early 2008. David, a University of Colorado political science graduate, met Saperstein, a former executive chef and onetime James Beard Award semifinalist (for Pompano Beach’s Cafe Maxx), a decade earlier, bonding over a mutual love of the Grateful Dead and Phish.
The duo opened a Mexican taqueria, El Jefe Luchador, in 2011 across the street from Charm City, followed by the late eclectic American restaurant, Rebel House, in 2012. But Charm City is arguably their most acclaimed, winning the Riverwalk Burger Battle’s “Best Burger” designation multiple times (and it ranked high again in 2017 and 2019, according to the Sun Sentinel’s own unscientific polling).
Their longtime 1,485-square-foot perch in the Hillsboro Square plaza will be rebranded Charm City Sandwich Co. and specialize in smash burgers and hot and cold-cut subs. David and Saperstein say it will build on the culinary scaffolding of Sunshine Provisions, their Hallandale Beach-based boutique meat wholesaler business. Sunshine already supplies many South Florida restaurants with high-end prime cuts, including Oceano Kitchen in Lantana and Evelyn’s at the Four Seasons in Fort Lauderdale.
And those provisions will fill the shop’s 13 sandwiches, to be served on a choice of white or whole wheat breads, croissants and sesame potato rolls, all sourced from Cusanos Bakery in Coconut Creek. The menu will include a cheesesteak sub, a pileup of Wagyu sirloin topped with a white, Cheez Whiz-style sauce, grilled onions and garlic aioli; a chopped Wagyu cheese sandwich with caramelized onions and hot pepper relish; and a smoked ham and cheese with honey mustard, crispy onions and spicy pickles.
Cold handhelds will range from the Deli Beast (turkey, roast beef, ham, Swiss, bacon) and Maryland-style shrimp salad (Old Bay seasoning, mayonnaise, arugula and tomato) to Off the Frame turkey (Swiss, spicy deli mustard, avocado, sprouts, onion) and Garlic Peppercorn Roast Beef (provolone, horseradish sauce, aged Swiss, arugula, french onion spread). Of course, there will also be a smash burger topped with white American cheese, onions, pickles and housemade Charm sauce on a sesame potato bun.
Sides will include housemade potato chips, fries, tater tots, onion rings, cabbage and broccoli slaw, and Caesar salad.
Charm City Burger Co., at 1136 E. Hillsboro Blvd., Deerfield Beach, is expected to relocate this winter to 201 NW First Ave., Boca Raton. Visit CharmCityBurgerCo.com or call 954-531-0300.