The zombies are coming to the East Village Friday night! The much-anticipated opening of Zombie Burger + Drink Lab (300 East Grand Avenue in Des Moines’ East Village) is just around the corner, and the premiere of George Formaro’s new venture will be preceded by a Zombie Walk and Street Party. Formaro’s Zombie Burger opening is set for Tuesday, August 30, while the Zombie Walk and Street Party is set for Friday August 26.
Zombie Burger + Drink Lab will be a departure, of sorts, for Formaro. Formaro is the force behind Django, Centro, Gateway Market, and South Union Bakery, and was recently tapped to by Orchestrate Hospitality to update newly-acquired Mezzodi’s. Tuesday, Formaro will take his same serious approach into his light-hearted new venture, a horror-themed burger joint that will be open to the wee hours of the morning.
Formaro fans are already eating up the concept. The Zombie Burger Facebook page already has 2459 “likes”, and the restaurant doesn’t open for another six days. Select friends and family have been in the restaurant sampling the wares this week before the big opening, and some fans were lucky enough to win tickets to a VIP event Friday night. Des Moines has not been this abuzz about a new restaurant in recent memory.
Zombie Burger’s menu will feature more than just beef patties. There will be chicken, veggie patty, and portobello mushroom options, as well. The “burger” combinations will be plentiful, with everything from normal burger toppings to peanut butter, bananas, and fried eggs available. The menu will also include appetizers, hot dogs, and salads. The Drink Lab will also be a point of interest for many diners. The lab is rumored to have a variety of beverages, including shake and smoothie options (with or without alcohol) available.
The restaurant will be split into two areas. One area will be geared toward the sit-down crowd, and one will be more geared toward the eat-and-run meal break crowd. The restaurant will be open late 7 nights a week, as well. Sunday through Thursday, ZB+DL will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Friday and Saturday, the restaurant will stay open until 3 a.m.
People may have to wait until Tuesday for the opening, but they won’t have to wait until then to celebrate Zombie Burger’s arrival. Friday from 8:15 p.m. to 11 p.m. there will be a Zombie Burger Street Party at the corner of East Fourth and Locust. The event will start off with a Zombie Walk from Locust to Grand Avenue. Those wanting to participate in the walk should meet at the restaurant by 7:45 p.m. All attendees are encouraged to dress as the walking dead for the event. The event will feature live music from the Pork Tornadoes, and Zombie Burger menu items will be available for purchase. The cover charge for the event is $10, and the proceeds will go to the Des Moines Playhouse. Salon W stylists will also be on hand to apply zombie makeup to inept would-be zombies, at a charge of $45. (Appointment necessary– call 515-280-5358.)
The zombies are coming, and I have a feeling they will be sticking around for a long, long time…