A burger concept known for its "flamboyant" dining experience is coming to Dallas: Hamburger Mary’s, which serves "burgers with a side of sass," is opening a location on Cedars Spring Road, specifically the Illume building at 4123 Cedar Springs Rd. #101.
According to owner and franchisee Arthur Hood, the restaurant will open in early June, ideally in time for Dallas Pride weekend.
"HV Entertainment and Hamburger Mary’s look forward to bringing this internationally-loved franchise to the Dallas community and the Oak Lawn neighborhood," Hood says in a statement.
“Since its inception, Hamburger Mary’s has served as a safe haven for both employees and customers alike in the LGBTQIA+ community, and that tradition will proudly continue at the Dallas location,” he says.
Hamburger Mary’s was founded in 1972 in San Francisco as a bar & grill meets drag show, with many (if not all) of the servers in drag. The popularity of the concept has ebbed and flowed over the years, including a previous location in Dallas at 4140 Lemmon Ave. which closed more than a decade ago.
But with drag shows currently a target among conservatives, there's been a surge of support from the other side, and there are now 13 Hamburger Mary's locations across the country, in cities including Denver and Houston.
Along with the burgers comes nightly entertainment such as "Dining with the Divas" drag shows, charity "HamBingo Mary’s," "Mary-Oke Karaoke" and trivia nights.
Much of the entertainment at the Dallas location will be coordinated and hosted by local drag legend Danny Lee Cabrera, stage name Liquor Mini, who is also a flight attendant and lead for the Fly Queens, a group of drag queens who travel the world to entertain.
Hood and his partner Erwing Villanueva own Dallas-based HV Entertainment, which operates entertainment venues across the U.S. including restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.
"I remember visiting the Dallas location when it was open, and we've visited other locations on trips out of town," Hood says. "Each location has a little leeway for individuality. I thought would be a welcome addition to Dallas, and it also fits the neighborhood which is growing and changing with more people living nearby."
While a big part of the appeal is surely that it's a destination "for open-minded people," it's also, at heart, a bar and grill with a big menu ranging from burgers to appetizers to salads, and entrees, as well as a full bar with craft beer and cocktails.
The exact menu changes from location to location but staples include basics like wings, nachos, sandwiches, with up to 16 burger options.
Still, even the menu offers a few cheeky asides: Nachos are called "Macho Mary Nachos," the spinach-artichoke dip is "Rainbow Dip," and the mac & cheese is dubbed "Mary Mac & Cheese Balls."