By Ivan Pereira
Astoria resident George Philippakos had a great experience when he visited a Cheeburger Cheeburger restaurant in Long Island a few years back.
The 35âˆ’yearâˆ’old said he was so impressed with the restaurant, which has locations across the country, that he and five of his St. John’s University friends decided to work together to bring the eatery to the borough.
“I was really impressed with the quality of their food,” he said.
Since Philippakos and his business partners opened the Queens Cheeburger Cheeburger at 108âˆ’50 Queens Blvd. in June, he said dozens of customers have been sharing that sentiment. The coâˆ’owner said the draw to the 1950sâˆ’themed restaurant is the choice it gives customers.
When a customer orders any burger, which costs between $5.49 to $10.99, he can choose from hundreds of combinations of toppings, from artichoke hearts to teriyaki sauce.
“You can have a different burger ever day of the week and have a different experience each time,” Philippakos said.
The wide variety of choices also applies to the restaurant’s salad and milk shake menu. Customers can create approximately 378,000 flavor combinations of milk shakes, according to the coâˆ’owner.
In addition to the tasty meals, customers get an extra treat from the restaurant’s decor. Pink walls, memorabilia from the ’50s and oldies music transform the eatery, which can seat 75 people, into a place of nostalgia.
“We get a lot of older people come in here and say it brings back memories,” Philippakos said.
Since this is the first Cheeburger Cheeburger in Queens, Philippakos, who graduated with a master’s in information technology from St. John’s in 2001, made some additions to make it fit the borough’s needs.
In addition to starting a takeâˆ’out and delivery menu, the Forest Hills restaurant began offering breakfast in February. The breakfast comes with more choices, just like the eatery’s other dishes.
“You can order an omelet and you can have any toppings you like. Cheese, onions, anything,” he said.
The coâˆ’owner said he has other ideas to expand his Cheeburger Cheeburger franchise to other customers and said he is amazed how quickly the restaurant became popular.
“Our motto is to never tell a customer no. We want them to enjoy their food,” he said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by eâˆ’mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718âˆ’229âˆ’0300, Ext. 146.