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Painting the Town Purple: New Zealand’s BurgerFuel Opens First U.S. Restaurant In Broad Ripple

Writer & Photgrapher  /  Stephanie Duncan

With a line down the street, a live DJ, a New Zealand artist spray painting a mural on the side of the building and people outside playing cornhole, walking into Broad Ripple’s new restaurant, BurgerFuel, felt like walking into a fun block party.

Open windows facing the street, cool modern industrial art and light fixtures and a former parking lot turned into patio space for outside games, the BurgerFuel’s recent launch party on May 25 was bringing the fun and most importantly, gourmet burgers.

The New Zealand chain has lots of locations around the world, but are excited to break ground in the United States for the first time. Alexis Lam, marketing manager for BurgerFuel, explained why they chose Indiana for their first-ever America location.

“One of the things we really liked about Indiana, and especially Broad Ripple, is that Broad Ripple is a lot like Auckland, New Zealand where we opened our first store,” Lam says. “Its really nice to come all the way across to the other side of the world and find a place where people are nice and neighborly.”

The new BurgerFuel space takes over a car leasing shop, which includes a parking garage out back and a fenced in patio, perfect for outside events.

While the former car leasing shop has been transformed on the inside, with an easy view into the fast-paced kitchen and a covered outside seating area, BurgerFuel brought new life to the building outside with new murals by New Zealand artist, Haser. The space has a unique modern feel with the exposed brick and industrial décor. The murals on the building are fun, vibrant and all include the signature BurgerFuel purple color scheme.

Haser has also put up murals all around Broad Ripple, including the Alley Cat and the Monon Trail.

“One of the things we like to do is to come into a community and talk to the locals and find walls that have been neglected and turn them into murals,” Lam says. “We’re painting the town purple.”

Along with the new murals, the former parking lot is now used as an outside hangout spot, with tables and fun games like cornhole.

Now, let’s talk burgers. BurgerFuel hopes to offer up an amazing experience along with a stellar menu.

“The food has to be amazing,” Lam says. “We like to think of our food as fuel for the human engine, so you can put good food in and enjoy your passions. We love cars, music and street art, and these are things we like to enjoy and we hope you enjoy them as well.”

According to their website, they have a mission to transform the burger with a kiwi makeover, which includes high quality, healthier ingredients.

The menu still has recipes inspired by the New Zealand originals at home but with an American twist. The beef is 100 percent grass fed, they have free-range chicken and also vegan and vegetarian burger options. Instead of the American tradition of ketchup, they use a highly recommended homemade tomato relish on most of their burgers. Another popular condiment is their variety of aoilis, which comes with all their fries. One of their popular gourmet sides are the Motobites, which are fried morsels made with pumpkin, carrot and chickpeas. Pair that with a local Indiana beer, or an organic soda, and you’re night is off to a good start.

BurgerFuel’s menu stands out from other burger places from all the gourmet healthy ingredients that go into each of their burgers.

“Part of the ‘fuel for the human engine’ is that understanding that people who want to be active and have fun have certain lifestyles they want to live, and we want to support that,” Lam says. Lam also thinks the diversity of BurgerFuel’s menu can give people more choices when they go out to eat.

BurgerFuel is now open to the public. To get a taste of New Zealand’s take on burgers and welcome BurgerFuel to the Broad Ripple community, you can find them at 6320 Guilford Avenue, right off the Broad Ripple strip.

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