Looks like the Wahlburgers tenure in NYC is quite a mess: The poorly reviewed burger chain from the singing-acting-reality star Wahlberg brothers has been locked out of the planned Times Square location at 725 Eighth Avenue. The landlord’s attorney confirmed to Eater that they have changed the locks on the space but have not yet gone into litigation.
In response, CEO Rick Vanzura wrote on a LinkedIn post saying that Wahlburgers is doing just fine, thanks. He blamed the New York closings on a franchisee whose locations were “below brand standards,” noting that plans to open more than 25 locations in New York and Florida are still in the works.
Wahlburgers corporate also plans to reopen Coney Island location at 3015 Stillwell Avenue and move forward on the long-ruminating Times Square outpost. Vanzura writes:
Ownership is in the process of restructuring their business and bringing in new management to ensure that Wahlburgers Coney Island maintains the brand’s values and high criteria as both a restaurant and a workplace. We are committed to the revitalization of Coney Island and reopening there, in addition to bringing Wahlburgers to Times Square, when we’re confident the leadership, staff, and resources are in place to uphold Wahlburgers' commitment to excellence in all regards.
Wahlburgers did not have any comment in response to the landlord locking the Times Square location out of the space. The landlord’s attorney did not have further comment.
The chain serving burgers, sandwiches, and milkshakes is owned by actor Mark Wahlberg and his brothers Donnie and Paul; the business has somewhat been documented in A&E reality show Wahlburgers. The company still has one NYC location that’s open, at 1633 Second Avenue on the Upper East Side, as well as an outpost on Long Island. Reviews have said that the burgers are mediocre.