Welcome to the Pattie Shack
Burgers, dogs and wings make a stand downtown
By Linda A. Thompson-Odum firstname.lastname@example.org
A new old-fashioned burger stand has come to Elm Street in Manchester with the opening of the Pattie Shack. Owners Lee Severi and Jim Burns dreamed of their own restaurant as kids, and they’ve chosen Manchester as the place to make the dream happen because of its demographic mix.
The pair grew up in Connecticut.
“When we were kids we would talk about opening a spot together,” Burns said. “I got away from it [Burns joined the Navy], but Lee stuck with the idea.”
Severi’s restaurant career began with dishwashing when he was 15 years old. More recently he worked for the Wings Over chain of chicken wing restaurants as its Connecticut and Massachusetts district manager, where he spent the last three-plus years in the Boston area. But the childhood dream of his own restaurant never left.
“Mom-and-pop burger spots are coming back into fashion. I come from a corporate restaurant world. I wanted a place that would promote people coming in, relaxing, and having a burger. A build-your-own concept that is fast and casual,” Severi said.
The Pattie Shack menu is small.
“With a small menu you can concentrate on what you do and do it well. It’s good to give people options, but you also want to satisfy the people you serve. And a small menu means better ingredients,” Severi said.
Customers start by picking a protein — burger, cheese steak, hot dogs, sweet or hot sausage links, or veggie pattie. The next steps include a choice of bun (plain or pretzel), cheese (American, cheddar, blue, or cheese sauce) and the toppings (18 total, including dirty relish, a spicy version that came from Severi’s grandfather, and Shack Sauce, a beefy meat-cheese-and-barbecue creation). The fries come in tater tot, waffle and sweet potato varieties and can be flavored with garlic Romano, Cajun, cheese sauce or Shack Sauce.
Also on the menu are fresh boneless chicken wings. These are ordered in sizes from 1/2 to 5 lbs. and come in 12 flavors, including buffalo smoke, buffalo fire, buffalo blaze, BBQ, garlic Romano, and Teriyaki. Each order is served with blue cheese. Salad lovers can order the garden variety or the Junkyard, with lettuce, tomato, carrots, egg, bacon, peppers, onions and blue cheese.
Nothing is frozen. The hamburger patties are made in house, and the chicken tenders are breaded by hand. The cheese steak is made with choice rib eye delivered by the butcher three times a week. Daily specials are in the works. There will be seasonal soups, and soon a topping of the week that varies from the regular menu.
Besides the demographic, another reason Severi and Burns chose the Elm Street spot was that it was in the center of the city and that makes deliveries easier. The restaurant delivers every day during business hours, which means 2 a.m. on weekends. And they are happy to cater any type of event.