By Anna Skinner
The idea to expand Flamme Burger originated with soccer.
Founder Henri Najem’s daughter, a travel soccer player, often traveled to Whitestown to play. That is what sparked his curiosity.
“Watching all the development and growth in that area, I thought there may be an opportunity,” Najem said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to expand, and I like the area with the growth and the customer base. I think Flamme Burger will do very well there.”
The Whitestown burger joint has plans to open mid-September, almost exactly one year after it debuted in Fishers.
After Najem and his wife, Shelly, sold Bella Vita, a restaurant they owned for 17 years, Najem decided he wanted to move on to something more casual, but still fresh.
“I started working on this concept, and to be different in the burger industry isn’t easy,” he said. “I began experimenting with wood-fired products … From there, I started working with custom blends of brisket, short rib and sirloin. We grind fresh daily, mix it up and patty the burgers here on site. That was really the key. I didn’t want to buy somebody else’s concept. I was confident enough to create something.”
Najem lives in Fishers with his family, and he is working to meet final requirements with the Town of Whitestown before he can open his second Flamme Burger.
“I looked at Carmel and other locations, and some areas are really saturated,” he said. “There’s Bub’s in Zionsville, but there’s not a whole lot of wood-fired restaurants similar to mine. I think with the growth of Whitestown, that’s what attracted us to the area.”
For more, visit flammeburger.com.