Between them James and Wendy D’Ath seem to have done everything, from marine biology to ringbarking and they have the energy you would expect from that kind of extensive experience.
Even in the inevitable chaos of opening a new venue, there is an aura of genuine hospitality in the air and when James tells you he loves everything about his business, you believe him.
When the original DA’Burger opened in New Farm, they sold a Rolex watch to cover costs in their first week. Today, the venue is an icon of the neighbourhood and a stepping stone that launched the eatery first into Ascot, and now West End.
But James has bigger plans for their triumphant return to the suburb of his childhood than just a great venue. For their latest expansion there is a vision for a combination restaurant and production centre that, in true West End fashion, centres on supporting “local, micro-economic communities”. The Boundary Street location aims to supply all DA’Burgers in Brisbane with local produce and house made sauces and patties, including their own gastronomic vegan burgers.
There is love and thought poured into every nook and cranny of the new burger bar. Classic consoles and arcade machines line the walls, which are already in the process of being covered in autographs, jokes and a store constitution. Opening any new business, especially in hospitality, is a strain for all involved, but despite an almost complete renovation in 48 hours, the workers are jovial and the operations are smooth. Just like any good burger, everyone is working together to turn the ingredients into something more than the sum of its parts. In keeping with the attitude of supporting locals, all the beer on tap is from the area, reaping the benefits of a mutually enthusiastic partnership with Green Beacon Brewing. And it is not just businesses the D’aths are looking to nurture. They plan to engage the community at large, their first effort being working with Orange Sky Laundry to provide food for the homeless.
The eponymous burgers are tactile things you can sink your teeth into, with chips to match. Wonderfully grilled, with just enough salad and extras. Special mention must be made of the aforementioned vegan burgers. You can taste the hours of careful effort that have gone into the recipe — any ethical eaters looking for a place to indulge should take note.
Despite being Copperface Jack’s not long ago, the spot on the corner of Edmondstone and Boundary already feels like an extension of the D’ath’s home. It fits seamlessly into the neighbourhood and could have been there for years. There are hints of the future expansion to come, but for now watch excitedly to see what happens here. The laconic, friendly vibe, community works and space for local artists have all the makings of local institution.
In James’s words, “you got to do what you can do”, and I am looking forward to seeing what that is.
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