“I have been on this project for three years. When I actually learned that Primark was going to settle here. This brand will attract a lot of people and in my opinion it will really change the face of the mall,” says Saïd Zehar.
The latter is preparing “in the first half of January” to open a Californian burger restaurant in Center Deux. And the young retailer couldn’t have dreamed of a better place to take advantage of the influx of customers from the low-price Irish fashion giant (due to open in the second half of January), as it will be next door, at first floor, in the former Courir store.
The Californian Burger brand is far from unknown to the residents of Saint-Etienne, and especially the youngest, as the Center Deux restaurant will be the third to open its doors after those in the city center and Tréfilerie. A real local “success story”.
“My American dream, it was in France that I realized it”
It all started in 2013 when Saïd Zehar opened O’Grill, a traditional cuisine restaurant, at 3 rue Dormoy, very close to Place Jean-Jaurès. Three years later, he decides to go to California for a year. “I wanted to live the American dream. But my American dream, it was in France that I realized it. »
When he returned from the USA, inspired by what he saw (and ate) there, the young Stéphanois decided to change the name and concept of his restaurant. In 2017, O’Grill became the California burger. On the menu therefore mainly burgers. 100% halal. “Really good big American-style burgers with cheddar dripping everywhere,” says Saïd Zehar with a smile.
American style, but with a French twist: “For example, we have a beef bourguignon burger. For the holidays, we have one with foie gras, which is also a hit. Knowing that we work as much as possible with local producers and that we have a lot of homemade things, like sauces. »
The restaurant on rue Dormoy is so successful that Saïd Zehar opened another at the end of 2019, at 34 rue du 11-Novembre, a stone’s throw from the Tréfilerie campus. “It was there that I studied, and I wanted to create a place that I would have liked to have found back then for lunch. This other Californian burger is enriched with a “coffee-shop” part with waffles, milkshakes, etc. And he also made a name for himself very quickly.
A restaurant at 300 m² and 85 covers
Center Deux Californian Burger – 300 m² and 85 covers – will naturally pick up the winning formula for his two oldest. You can enjoy burgers, but also “bistro” dishes on the plate: forest cutlet, butcher’s cut, chicken skewers, fish and chips… “In the morning from 9am we also offer American style breakfast: pancakes, eggs, bacon… “
If Saïd Zehar has modest success, he says he is “happy with the loyalty that Stéphanois has shown me so far”. And as he embarks on this new adventure, he says he is “cautious but optimistic.”