This year’s Vote 4 The Best competition was a little different! We created our special Editors Pick edition to highlight businesses who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic. After receiving almost 1,000 submissions recommending outstanding businesses in Metro Detroit, the Local 4 producers have picked our winners.
City Burger in Warren is the Editors Pick for Best Overall Awesome Owner/Manager! Brothers Moe and Abbas Barjaoui are Warren natives who come from a family of business owners, so opening up a business in the area was a no-brainer for the co-owners.
City Burger’s family and community-based kitchen has something special that made it such a hit in Warren, even before the pandemic.
“We have a burger named after every big city,” Barjaoui said. “For example, our Green Bay burger is loaded with mac and cheese bites for our Wisconsin Cheesehead customers! We also wouldn’t be a success without our mother. She cuts up fresh veggies, prepares fresh ground beef, and our secret sauce six days per week.”
While the pandemic has provided many locally-owned businesses with struggles, especially restaurants, Moe Barjaoui focuses on the silver lining. They’ve made the changes necessary to keep their customers safe and their business running, such as registered plexiglass, lower dine-in capacity, required mask-wearing, and countless hand-sanitizer dispensers around the restaurant.
“I think the pandemic has affected business, but not necessarily in a negative way," Barjaoui said. “If anything, this pandemic has given our business more of an opportunity to build a bond with the community. We’ve been able to give back to local first-responders, front-line workers, and any other community member in need.”
Healthcare organizations City Burger have donated to include DMC Sinai Grace Hospital in Detroit, Beaumont hospital in Royal Oak, and even Access, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding COVID-19 testing volunteers.
City Burger’s generosity to its community even went beyond COVID-19 relief.
“After giving back to frontline heroes, we thought to ourselves, there must be more crucial causes we can donate to during trying times like these," Barjaoui said.
City Burger reached out to Turning Point, a non-profit organization based in Macomb whose main mission is to end domestic violence and sexual abuse. The Barjaoui brothers were creative in raising money while still being COVID-safe. City Burger hosted a 24-hour straight charity marathon, featuring games, grilling, a lemonade stand, and a car show all while socially distanced in a parking lot. The brothers raised over $2,200 for Turning Point!
City Burger’s efforts toward supporting their community during the pandemic are commendable, and we’re excited to put the spotlight on businesses like this that found creative ways to survive and help others during this difficult time. To see more stories about outstanding local businesses, check out our Vote 4 The Best page!
Plus, see who people voted as their local favorites in a wide range of categories HERE, and use it as your guide to the “Best” places in your area!
Our Sponsor -- We’d like to thank Wallside Windows for their longtime sponsorship of Vote 4 the Best and their support of southeast Michigan’s local businesses. Wallside is a Taylor, MI-based family business that manufactures and installs custom replacement windows, now in their third generation.