One of the most flamboyant and iconic LGBTQ restaurant chains is having trouble making it in Wilton Manors. Again.
Over the past few days, Hamburger Mary’s, located at 2426 Wilton Drive, has popped up on multiple real estate listing services. The asking price is $750,000 and annual revenue is listed at $1.5M. Rent is $16,000 per month on a lease that runs through March 2031.
This doesn’t necessarily preclude the demise of the restaurant in Wilton. One of the listings extols the virtues of Hamburger Mary’s, saying, “Popular AND Profitable Bar on Wilton Drive, Hamburger Mary’s is an Open-Air Bar and Grille for Open-Minded People … Hamburger Mary’s offers a Flamboyant Dining Experience, along with Nightly Entertainment from their ‘Dining with the Divas’ Drag Shows and Charity ‘HamBingo Mary’s’ to MaryOke-Karaoke and Trivia Nights!”
While the listing features positive vibes and encouraging numbers, a look inside quickly reveals a different picture.
“Employees and performers have been dealing with pay cuts,” one employee, who was granted anonymity in order to speak freely, said. “No one is sure how long this business will last.”
They also said a real estate agent has been checking out the property for a few weeks.
The listing reads “Franchise Participation Optional,” which seemingly implies that new owners could abandon the Mary motif and introduce another entertainment concept.
That wouldn’t be unprecedented. Until 2006, Rosie’s was a Hamburger Mary’s franchise. They shut down for a couple of weeks to remodel and relaunched with a flamboyant theme, bright colors, and creatively named food.
The latest iteration of Hamburger Mary’s opened across the street in June 2021. The opening was rough and rushed because they wanted to serve for Pride. At the time, one person told me there were only four-to-six people hired. Speed of service and quality of food continue to be issues.
Mary’s has found some success in its entertainment programming. From a women’s night to drag shows to hosting fundraisers, event nights draw in good crowds.