Friday, October 7, 2022

Two brothers to bring burger joint to Yorktown

The Korean Burger- one of the unique menu items that Mike and Thomas Moreno pride themselves on.(Courtesy Aspen Burger Company)
The Korean Burger- one of the unique menu items that Mike and Thomas Moreno pride themselves on. (Courtesy Aspen Burger Company)

A new burger joint is coming to Yorktown and it comes with a hefty helping of kinship. 

Aspen Burger Company opened in New Kent County in January 2016. Barely a year later, they have announced they will be opening their second location in the Boulevard Shoppes on Route 17 this spring.

Brothers Mike and Thomas Moreno said the early success of their first location was the reason they were comfortable opening a second.

“We were pretty popular early on,” said owner Mike Moreno. “It was a new concept we came out with. We’ve done well past what we estimated we would do” at their restaurant in New Kent County.

Their concept, they say, is to offer a menu with diverse and unique options.

“We don’t do French fries,” said Culinary Visionist Thomas Moreno. “We want to differentiate ourselves.”

They do offer sweet potato fries, which the Morenos say is among their most popular menu items. Other popular — and unique — sides include buffalo cauliflower and toasted brussel sprouts.

Thomas Moreno said he typically recommends the Korean Burger to customers trying Aspen for the first time.

“It’s different than any burger you’ll ever get,” he said.

(Courtesy Aspen Burger Company)
(Courtesy Aspen Burger Company)

The Korean Burger features Korean spices and both grilled and pickled onions on Angus beef ground chuck.  

The Chori-Burger, which is topped with chorizo sausage, queso, jalapeno and pico de gallo, is another favorite among their regulars, according to the Morenos.

Unique menu items are a part of their draw, and a core concept of the fledgling restaurant.

“We do a lot of international burgers,” Mike said. “We aim for all the different nationalities to expand and touch base with different communities…At our current location, we get a lot of families, and eclectic people. We get business people and lawyers to people traveling through town. We get the whole spectrum.”

The Moreno brothers said the diverse group of customers who visit Aspen Burger Company have allowed them to thrive in New Kent County and expand into Yorktown.

“The reason we started in New Kent County is that it’s a smaller population, so you can get more feedback from your clientele and engage with the customer more,” Thomas Moreno said.

The duo put that feedback to work during their first year in business, and said they believe their success in New Kent County will carry over to Yorktown.

Aspen's location in Yorktown. (Courtesy Aspen Burger Company)
Aspen’s location in Yorktown. (Courtesy Aspen Burger Company)

“We get a broad range of people here from different states,” Mike Moreno said. “We actually get to hear what a lot of people from different areas of the country think about the place. We see that this could work in a D.C. or Atlanta. We could get that sort of idea from this location.”

Added Thomas Moreno, “We definitely have high expectations for the brand and the concept.  We’ve really built a brand here.”

The brothers said their Yorktown business will likely open in late May. While they did not speculate on future expansion beyond Yorktown, they agree they will sink or swim as a family.

“I found a role- ‘let me do this, let me do that,’” Thomas Moreno said.  “I worked my way in to help my brother. ‘Let’s build something together that will be a legacy for us.’”

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