After months of anticipation and a few days of low-key soft service, the celebrity-driven burger and bar chain Wahlburgers opened Monday in Greektown.
It was by no means the star-studded scene Monroe street saw Wednesday when the one of the restaurant’s co-owners Mark Wahlberg took a break from filming “Transformers 5” to make an appearance. Hundreds of fans lined the street that day hoping to get a peek at the actor. Monday’s official opening was more subdued with only a handful of people waiting before the restaurant officially opened.
Elizabeth Pree drove to Detroit from Monroe to be the first in line at 6 a.m. Monday for the opening at 569 Monroe.
“I’m hoping Donnie (Wahlberg) will be here,” she said, referring to the actor and New Kids on the Block member who also is involved with the restaurant franchise. Pree said last weekend she visited the Wahlburgers restaurant in Brooklyn, New York. She said Donnie Wahlberg promised fans he’d be at the opening of each Wahlburgers.
“I’m a big fan and supporter of the whole Wahlberg family,” she said, adding that her favorite Wahlburgers menu item is a burger called “Donnie’s favorite.”
Wahlburgers is owned by brothers Mark, Paul and Donnie, who plays police detective Daniel Reagan on CBS’ “Blue Bloods.” Local partner Nino Cutraro owns Bella Piatti in Birmingham.
Cutraro told The Detroit News on Saturday during a soft service that the two-story Greektown bar and restaurant will be open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-midnight weekends.
The chain has locations in Toronto, New York and the brothers’ native state, Massachusetts. The Greektown restaurant is the first of six Wahlburgers plan for southeast Michigan.
Cutraro says the next two Wahlburgers will be in the metro area and will open in 2017. Those locations are part of a nationwide expansion for the brand, which struck deals with various franchise groups to expand to a total of 118 restaurants.
Wahlburgers Detroit serves lunch and dinner. The menu includes a full bar with a focus on burgers, sandwiches, sides, salads and gourmet sodas.
At this point the restaurant has no listed phone number, but a menu and information can be found at wahlburgersrestaurant.com.