The Burger Shop in St. Charles closed earlier this month, its owner citing ongoing supply chain issues and rising food prices that have plagued businesses across the country during the past year.
Owner Marshall McCarty opened the restaurant in the Foxfield Commons shopping center in the east of the city in late 2020.
“We started to run into major cost issues,” McCarty said. “All of these things that are happening in our economy right now have really hit businesses of this size and nature hard.
“Last summer, it took me about three months to get Miracle Whip at one point,” he added. “Burger prices were very high last summer. They’ve come down a lot over the winter. The volatility of all these things is quite extraordinary.”
McCarty noted that he paid around $42 per case of fries when The Burger Shop opened.
“We are currently buying fries at $56 a case,” he said. “We have only raised prices once this year. Last year we had a slight increase in the summer when burger prices were very high. But we haven’t really recouped some of those costs and the lost profit margin yet. As a small company, we try to absorb as much as possible.”
St. Charles was The Burger Shop’s second location. McCarty opened The Burger Shop at 17 N. 4th St. in Geneva in April 2020, and The Walrus Room, 415 W. State St. #105 in Geneva, in 2018. Both restaurants remain open and McCarty serves as The Walrus Room’s executive head.
McCarty recently expanded The Walrus Room and plans to open a cocktail bar and wine bar in the space that previously housed Galena Cellars’ tasting room at 477 S. 3rd St. Suite 100 in downtown Geneva . The tasting room closed in February.
“It’s a fun project that we’re really excited to bring to Third Street in Geneva,” he said. “We’re going to have a nice, high-end craft cocktail program and then a nice, substantial wine list. Galena Cellars has been there for 18 years. They’ve done a great job with the wine and they have a nice terrace there. We want to continue a great wine program in this space.”