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Most people avoid sketchy, dark alleys.
But not the owners of Black Door Burger, or their legion of fans.
So if you’re new to Long Beach, or just visiting, here’s why you’re seeing long, late-night lines seemingly going into nowhere off New York Avenue on the West End.
In 2018, Frank Monteforte, 33, and his family took the speakeasy concept, combined it with the popular smash burger and called their new spot Black Door Burger. And it took off.
Where is it?
Black Door Burger is tucked behind Long Beach Sandwich Company, which the Monteforte family also owns.
The company’s slogan is “follow the red light,” in reference to a red light located above the nondescript, black entrance door. The light indicates the joint is open.
But Black Door recently added a “green light” menu item: the burrito.
Know before you go
Customers can now order burgers when the red light is on, or burritos when they see the green light.
“Come knock on the black door in a dark alley to order your food,” Monteforte said. “It keeps things interesting.”
Frank Jr., his brother Dan, and Frank Sr. own both the sandwich shop and Black Door Burger.
The burrito option just started. It includes cilantro rice, black beans, pico de gallo and a choice of chicken, steak or shrimp, all wrapped in an extra large flour tortilla for $15.
You also choose to add the jefe sauce, a green light sauce.
Check in ahead of time or place an order by calling 516-632-9014.
How it happened
“We were looking for ways to generate more to cover rising staff wages and cost of goods,” Monteforte told Greater Long Beach. “We pay rent 24-7 for a space we were only using during the day for the sandwich shop.”
So in the summer of 2018, Frank and his brother, Dan, along with their father, Frank Sr, started leaving chalk prints of smash burgers around town with their business card.
The gorilla marketing paid off when they finally opened, with lines forming immediately.
The burger menu was — and still is — simple: a single smashed burger patty, red onion, tomato and red light sauce on a Martin’s potato roll.
“You can only order the burger one way,” said Frank Jr.
Burgers are $6. Fries are $4.
“The bars are open until 4 a.m. and so are we,” Frank Jr. said.
Hours: Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., and Sundays from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
Photo Credit: Black Door Burger on Facebook.