Hamburger Mary’s Loses Bid for Five Napkin Burger Space

By on September 9, 2012
Hamburger Mary's

Midtown property under lease negotiation with undisclosed tenant.

UPDATE (Sept. 26, 2012): Gravity Fitness owner to replace 5 Napkin Burger with gay bar

When Five Napkin Burger abruptly shuttered its Midtown location, Atlantans began voicing opinions on what should open in its place.

California-based Hamburger Mary’s was a popular request among many What Now Atlanta readers.

Coincidently, WNA insiders uncovered Hamburger Mary’s is actually interested in opening an Atlanta location and even submitted a proposal to lease the Five Napkin space.

“As an Atlanta-native, I have been hoping that someone would open a Hamburger Mary’s [in Atlanta],” Ashely Wright, owner of the Hamburger Mary’s franchise, told What Now Atlanta in an email Saturday.

“Over the years, we’ve had discussions with several potential franchisees, but so far nothing has panned out.”

An Atlanta group was interested in replacing Five Napkin Burger with a franchised location of Hamburger Mary’s, according to Wright. However, the space is apparently being leased to someone else, he said (we’re hot on the case).

“I think an Atlanta Mary’s would be an instant hit. So we will see what happens!”

Photo courtesy of

About Caleb J. Spivak

CJS is the Founder of What Now Atlanta. He was recently featured in The New York Times, Creative Loafing's "20 People to Watch in 2012," named "Lifestyle Blogger You Need To Know" by Rolling Out Magazine and highlighted as Atlanta's Metropolitan Male in fashion magazine, 944. WNA was named "Best of Atlanta" by Creative Loafing and Atlanta Magazine.


  1. Rich

    September 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    I’m crossing my fingers for another Italian restaurant….kidding. HM would have been a perfect fit…now I’m curious what will open in that location.

  2. Toby

    September 9, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Same here. I was really hoping for it, because it fit the area and space very well.

  3. Thomas

    September 9, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Look for a new, non-smoking gay bar, somewhat more upscale than Blakes, that will also serve good food at moderate prices. It will be owned and operated by a solid and experienced individual who has a successful track record operating LGBT oriented businesses in ATL. Should be a terrific addition to the heart of midtown. Along with the much-awaited new Gilbert’s endeavor, 10th and Piedmont (or 10P as it’s already being called), the area should be a fun and lively place again.

  4. Mypitboss

    September 9, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    It’s going to be a new Chick Fil-A concept.

  5. NOT a better OR a bitter bitch

    September 10, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Hamburger Mary’s isn’t based in California – the owners are in Chicago. And that space isn’t big enough to generate enough money to pay the rent, so it will be interesting to see what goes there and how long it lasts. Whether you think Five Napkin Burger had service, quality, or prices to justify going there as a customer, just how busy do you think ANYTHING is going to have to be to (a) pay the rent (b) make a profit and (c) not charge a lot of money to do it.

    I’m not a real estate expert and I wouldn’t even call myself a restaurant expert, but I have been in the F&B business for over 30 years and I am definitely an expert in spending my money in the community. And sometimes I find myself wondering: WTF are they thinking? Anytime I see a business open, ESPECIALLY in a failed space, I wonder what exactly do they think they are offering that will turn a casual customer into an every day customer. You need that to survive; not someone that comes once in a while, but someone that thinks of you every time they want to go out.

  6. Dude

    September 10, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    snore-gasm…who knew there was so much fervor over burger joints.

  7. Tim

    September 11, 2012 at 8:41 am

    I did not care for Five napkin’s burgers, service, nor their price, I admit I only ate there twice.. However, I really think a big mistake was the amount of money they spent to remodel the space. Normally the tenant, not the landlord, pays for remodeling, and this had to have cost well above 6 figures. With that payment hanging over the restaurant, and adding in possibly high rent, it really seems doomed from the start. Perhaps a new restaurant/bar could just make a few smaller changes, like paint, and open in this space with a significantly lower overhead cost.

  8. Ken

    September 11, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Uh, we don’t need another burger joint in the neighbor hood. It attracts the wrong element. Maybe I’m too hopeful that something more sophisticated should be there. Maybe the crowd is more the ‘burger’ type :(.

  9. Steve

    September 11, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Not that it matters at this point, but you can’t exactly consider Hamburger Mary’s a “burger joint” and even if they were, they’ve been around much longer than the current “fad” has.

  10. M

    September 11, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    While Hamburger Marys isnt going there, when people find out who has bought the space, I think people will be pleasantly surprised. I will say this – its a local business owner who bought it and they are finalizing information now.

  11. Kevin

    September 11, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Ken, I’m curious to which “element” you’re referring?

    Do you have some hatred of non-vegetarians, or is there some other elemental consideration I’m missing? Just who/what/etc, in your mind, eats burgers?

    Jesus Christ. We’re talking burger joints. Not heroin dens.

    Get a life, you snobby bitch.

  12. Ken

    September 12, 2012 at 10:34 am

    I guess chubby checker told me. From the comments it’s clear something high-end will have to go in there to pay the rent. Sadly I’m not sure the gays want something with class. It will be interesting to see what will work there.

  13. Michael

    September 12, 2012 at 11:03 am

    God I hope this “experienced individual” isn’t Brad Williams. His track record with bars/restaurants…except for Jungle…has been abysmal and we don’t need another place that is just a den for drug dealers.

  14. john

    September 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Don’t count Mary’s out just yet……word has it she is going to be introducing herself to Atlanta, if not in this location, possibly right around the corner. Stay tuned

  15. Jay

    October 9, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Just checked out Mary’s website and menu. Looks like a flop waiting to happen. Seems better suited for Duluth, Sandy Springs, or Roswell.

    Also, I agree on the costly renovation of the 5 Napkin Burger space. Shouldn’t you make very minimal renovations, open up, see if you earn money, then spend more on more extensive work?

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