Penticton burger joint celebrates television debut

Penticton's Burger 55 celebrates Food Network Canada debut on You Gotta Eat Here!

You Gotta Eat Here! host John Catucci (right) hams it up with Burger 55 owners Chris Boehm (left) and Steve Jones inside their restaurant

You Gotta Eat Here! host John Catucci (right) hams it up with Burger 55 owners Chris Boehm (left) and Steve Jones inside their restaurant

A funny man who takes his food seriously and on a quest to find Canada’s most delicious comfort food, John Catucci stopped in the Okanagan last September.

Now the Penticton burger joint filmed for the show You Gotta Eat Here! is ready to make its television debut on Food Network Canada May 17.

“We have an event going next Friday at the shop to celebrate with everyone and have a viewing party,” said Burger 55 co-owner Chris Boehm.

The party starts at 4 p.m. at Burger 55, located at 85 Westminster Ave. E. Andres Electronics is providing big screen TVs so they can turn them on at 6 p.m. when You Gotta Eat Here! airs. DJ Shakes will be playing music, Pepsi will be giving out drinks and prizes, wine samples from Black Cloud, ice cream from the Cupcake Lady and there will be burger and fries specials.

Catucci, host of You Gotta Eat Here!, visits Canada’s small burger joints, greasy spoons and legendary restaurants to taste the food that made them famous and to the meet the colourful characters that make them institutions. He dives into the kitchens to find out what makes the signature recipes so good.

Boehm said even though the show hasn’t aired on national television yet, Burger 55 already has seen the benefits.

“It definitely got even more busy after they filmed. A lot of people saw in the newspaper that we were going to be on the show and there are a few commercials kicking around that we are going to be on it soon,” said Boehm.

The show heard about Burger 55 after a number of fans emailed You Gotta Eat Here! about it. Boehm said he is a regular viewer of the show and had a great time filming with them.

“They were a lot of fun and really laid-back. They made the whole experience a lot of fun,” he said.

The owners said people come in all the time and say they heard Burger 55 is going to be on the show and that is why they came in.

Boehm and business partner Steve Jones came up with the concept for Burger 55 on a Las Vegas road trip, a vacation that ended up revolving around burger joints they encountered while on the road.  On the way back they started talking about starting their own burger business and the idea was born. The businessmen believed that other burger places limited people in their options of what they wanted to stuff between two buns and jumped at the opportunity to change that. Customers at Burger 55 get to fully customize what they are going to chow down on.

Besides having a unique burger concept, they also found a distinct location to build their business. What use to be the old Larsen Brothers Tire Shop was transformed into the popping colours of Burger 55. Boehm said business has been steady since they opened and they are looking forward to big things in the future.