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Halal smash burger eatery opens in Ypsilanti amid pandemic

Blazin’ Burgerz opened Friday

Blazin' Burgerz is at 2593 Ellsworth Rd. in Ypsilanti, Michigan. (Sarah M. Parlette / WDIV)

YPSILANTI, Mich. – Opening up a restaurant during a global pandemic is a risk, but the owners of Blazin’ Burgerz decided it was now or never.

Located on Ellsworth Rd, the fast-casual restaurant is operated by 23-year-old Farook Issa and his friend Khaled Naser. The two have been friends since middle school and have worked together at family-owned restaurants for the past five years.

“In this area, you don’t see a burger joint. We said ‘why not’ and decided to go for it,” said Issa.

On Friday, when Blazin’ Burgerz held its grand opening, eaters were so eager to try the new smash burgers that wait times were up to an hour-and-a-half.

The rush was great but unexpected, Issa said during a quick break from behind the counter.

Blazin' Burgerz was opened by Farook Issa and Khaled Naser in Ypsilanti. (Sarah M. Parlette / WDIV)

In addition to filling the burger-shaped vacancy in the local restaurant scene, the two friends saw how well takeout and delivery restaurants were doing and decided to open up the eatery.

They also wanted to offer up something Halal for local community members.

“The population here is Muslim and Dearborn is half-an-hour away so we decided to open in the heart of Ypsilanti where all our Arab and Muslim brothers and sisters are, to save them the drive,” said Issa.

Blazin’ Burgerz is also in a very convenient location for Issa, who lives right down the street. The eatery is basically in his backyard.

Everything is cooked to order, according to Issa. Menu items range from smash burgers and chicken sandwiches to hotdogs, fries and macaroni and cheese bites.

Most burgers and sandwiches cost between $5 and $10 and can be made into a combo with fries and a drink for $3 more.

Blazin’ Burgerz is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and from noon to 9 p.m. on Sundays.

Find it at 2593 Ellsworth Rd in Ypsilanti and on social media.

The smash burger eatery offers a large menu of fast-casual foods. (Sarah M. Parlette / WDIV)

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.