McDonalds and Chick-fil-A will soon have some new competition for Vienna high school students looking to chow down while relaxing with friends after class.
The D.C.-based fast food chain Z-Burger is set to open later this spring in the former Pizza Hut at 541 Maple Avenue West, continuing an expansion into Northern Virginia that began in McLean and recently spread to Alexandria.
Adjacent to 7-Eleven and a Shell gas station, the restaurant is within walking distance of James Madison High School and Louise Archer Elementary School.
“We’re going to be mostly catering to the schools, the high school…Over there is a void for a really good burger place,” co-owner Peter Tabibian said, describing Z-Burger as closer in quality and approach to Shake Shack or Five Guys than the McDonald’s across the street.
After launching Z-Burger in Tenleytown in 2008, Tabibian has been working with his business partner, McLean resident Kevin Ejtemai, to expand the restaurant’s footprint beyond D.C. The pair are also behind the Persian restaurant Maman Joon, whose latest location opened at Tysons Corner Center earlier this month.
Though the windows are still covered by paper, Z-Burger has finished building out its roughly 1,200-square-foot space in Vienna, according to Tabibian. Employees are now being trained at the McLean location.
He anticipates that the new restaurant will open around mid-May.
In addition to beef burgers, Z-Burger sells chicken sandwiches, cheesesteaks, veggie burgers, hot dogs and 75 different flavors of milkshakes, which Tabibian says are popular with both kids and adults.
“We can compete with any of those guys, the burger guys, because we have a little bit more variety and we use really good ingredients,” he said. “Our meat is the foundation of our success because everything is fresh.”
The business also makes an effort to get involved with the local community, whether that giving some proceeds to schools during “Dining for Dollars” fundraisers or handing out free burgers when the federal government shuts down.
“We do a lot of stuff for the community,” Tabibian said. “That’s who serves us, so we try to help out where we can.”
Photo via Z-Burger/Instagram
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