Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

December 4, 2018
Tooele business owners expand into Salt Lake County

18-year-old American Burgers opens a restaurant in Herriman 

American Burgers just got bigger.

Not the size of their patties or buns, but the local owners of the burger and Greek food restaurant opened a third location in Herriman about a month ago.

Angelo Geovjian, his sister-in-law Mary Manusakis Geovjian, and her husband, Toro, own and operate American Burgers in Tooele City and Grantsville.

The three Tooele residents and business partners have been thinking of expanding into Salt Lake County for some time, but it wasn’t until fate connected Mary Geovjian with a Herriman developer that things took off.

“I took my kids to Herriman for a football game,” she said. “We had about four hours between games. I always thought that Herriman would be good location for a restaurant, so we just kind of drove around for a while.”

Mary Geovjian said she saw a piece of property that looked like a good place for an American Burgers restaurant.

“I got out and was looking at the property and ran into the owner/developer,” she said. “We exchanged information and a year later we heard from him, and now we’re opening.”

The Geovjians invested an undisclosed amount of money and built a three storefront pad in Herriman Corner on Rosecrest Road in Herriman.

One storefront is occupied by American Burgers, another is home to a Roxberry Juice, the third storefront is available.

The Herriman American Burgers has the same exterior and interior design elements as the Tooele store, which was remodeled in 2016.

This was the first time the Geovjians opened an American Burgers in a newly constructed restaurant.

The Tooele restaurant, the Geovjian’s first, opened in 2000 inside a former Kentucky Fried Chicken. It was remodeled and the eating area expanded in 2016.

In 2010, the Geovjians opened the Grantsville American Burgers inside a building that had housed a fast food business.

The Geovjians also own Java Bean, a coffee and sandwich shop in Grantsville that they opened in 2012.

“It was hard to build new,” said Angelo Geovjian. “We had to plan for everything from the ground up — power, water, lights.”

The cooking line in Herriman is 27-feet long, compared to 17 feet in Tooele, he said. 

The eating area at Herriman is a little larger to accommodate the larger capacity of the longer cooking line, according to Angelo Geovjian.

The Herriman restaurant, which includes a drive-up window, is 27,000 square feet — about 2,000 square feet larger than the Tooele American Burgers restaurant.

The contractor for the Herriman American Burgers was Northpoint Construction, a Bountiful, Utah, based contractor. The architect was Paul Nielsen of Order Architecture in Murray, Utah.

“We can fit six or seven cooks on the line in Herriman and four in Tooele,” Angelo Geovjian said.

The hardest thing about opening a new restaurant wasn’t the building, but hiring and training the staff, according to Angelo Geovjian.

“Finding good people was hard,” he said. “The labor market is really tight. Here in Tooele, we usually only hire adults at least 18 years old. In Herriman, we had to hire high school students, but they are trained and we have good managers working out there.”

The American Burgers in Herriman employees 30 people, including a general manager and two assistant managers.

The general manager for the Herriman restaurant was hired and brought in to work and train at the Tooele store several months before the Herriman store opened.

One key position at the Herriman location went to an experienced American Burgers employee.

“Sergio Saldana cooked for us in Tooele before he left us when he moved into Salt Lake County,” Angelo Geovjian said. “He heard we were opening in Herriman and called us and wanted to go back to work for us in Herriman.”

According to Angelo Geovjian, he and Mary Geovjian, along with American Burgers’ manager and trainer Colton Harris, make frequent trips to Herriman to train staff and make sure customers are receiving the kind of customer service that American Burgers is known for.

The menu is the same as the Tooele and Grantsville stores with charbroiled hamburgers — 17 varieties and sizes, including the namesake pastrami burger, the American Burger. The food selection also includes sandwiches, salads, shakes and more.

There are no smoothies on the Herriman menu. That’s because they are available next door at Roxberry, Angelo Geovjian said.

Mary Geovjian’s Greek heritage also shows up on the American Burger menu with pork and chicken sticks or kebabs, gyros, Greek salad and baklava.

The new Herriman restaurant may be the first in an invasion of the Tooele born American Burgers chain along the Wasatch Front.

“We have a product that people love — our food and our service,” Angelo Gevjian said. “It’s time to expand and grow.”

The Geovjians are looking for markets, like Herriman, that don’t already have a charbroiled burgers and a Greek food option.

“We want to grow slowly,” said Mary Geovjian. “But we are already looking at other potential locations.”

The Herriman American Burgers is located at 13322 S. Rosecrest Road. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

 

Tim Gillie

Staff Writer at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Tim covers education, Tooele City government, business, real estate, politics and the state Legislature. He became a journalist after a long career as an executive with the Boy Scouts of America. Tim is a native of Washington state and a graduate of Central Washington University.

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