Dorchester, MA - Call it a case of the prodigal son syndrome. Call it a case of the grass can sometimes look greener. But you’d think in the case of a clan of actors-turned-restaurateurs who have never failed to remind the world of their roots in Dorchester, the Wahlberg clan would have chosen their hometown as the launching pad their burger chain back in 2011.
But they didn’t. They chose Hingham. And then… Toronto. But then, Lynnfield. And then… Alabama.
But after seven years, the Wahlburgers chain has finally returned home to Dorchester with the opening of their 32nd North American location in the newly redeveloped South Bay Shopping Center, scheduled to open later on this month.
”We are so excited to join our friends and family and welcome home Wahlburgers to the Dorchester South Bay Shopping Center. This has been a long time coming,” said co-founder Mark Wahlberg in a press release.
The new location boasts of a 5,000 square foot facility with ample, family style seating and (of course) plenty of Wahlberg memorabilia to line the walls. But customers shouldn’t expect anything particularly drastic in a change in menu (and yes… they already have their liquor license.)
While the exact grand opening has yet to be revealed, the pre opening celebration occurred earlier this week on Monday, December 17th, with festivities, apparel and food from the Wahlburgers growing fleet of food trucks. Proceeds went to the Martin Richard Foundation, a charitable fund promoting education and sports in underprivileged communities.
But the Wahlburgers extension isn’t solely limited to hometown presence or a popular reality TV show on A&E now in its ninth season. Earlier this year, the founders announced their intention to market their specialty brisket and burgers in national supermarkets through ARKK Food Company, a Michigan based distributor. Currently, Iowa based grocery chain Hy-Vee Inc has an agreement to franchise the Wahlburger chain as an on site restaurant in some 26 of its stores.
“The brothers and I are all excited to bring a taste of Wahlburgers to stores and ultimately homes across America with our new Wahlburgers at Home product line, and we thank our great retail partners for their commitment to the launch," said CEO Rick Vanzura, who left the chain earlier this year, at the time.
Wahlburgers will be open at the South Bay Shopping Center, located at 101 Allstate Rd in Dorchester. The exact opening date has yet to be revealed. For more information, visit wahlburgers.com