Four Limerick brothers and their sister have opened a new Michelin-inspired restaurant, Locke Burger, with a premises on George’s Quay complimenting their existing food truck business.
Ballymaloe-trained Head Chef Richard Costello has cooked in a Michelin kitchen in Paris, manned a food truck in New York and learned about the art of butchery in New Zealand. Along the way, he listened and learned, planning to create the best burger in Ireland.
His journey spanned three continents over the last two years. The result of this food odyssey is the Locke Burger: a premium hamburger made with 100% Irish beef, dry-aged over 28 days. It’s smothered in cheese and secret sauce, and wrapped in a Pennsylvania potato roll, combining the best of American cuisine with the finest Irish produce.
Richard points to his experience working with Michelin-starred chefs as his chief inspiration. “I wanted to take the lessons I learned in top European kitchens about provenance and skill and use them to elevate the simple burger into something very special,” he said.
Locke Burger is run by four brothers — Tony, Richard, Jack and Alex — and a sister, Kate. “It’s a family business,” general manager Jack said, “there’s always a Costello at the wheel of the food truck, peering into our butcher’s fridge or manning the grill in the restaurant.”
In 2018, Richard and his brothers took their burger on the road in their renovated 1959 Citroën HY food truck. The van pitched up at food festivals, music gigs and community get-togethers in Ireland and the UK. They also expanded the menu, adding rosemary-salted fries, Frank’s buffalo wings and milkshakes. “We only work with premium ingredients and that means sourcing the finest Irish beef, the fluffiest American bread and the smoothest Italian gelato,” Richard said. “We won’t settle for anything less.”
In the spring of 2020, the truck served takeaway food and a smile to Limerick’s frontline workers. At a charity event in May, the team grilled a record number of burgers, raising €10,000 for Pieta House. When the brothers weren’t on the road with the food truck, they worked on a permanent home for their burgers; a few months later, Locke Burger’s first restaurant opened its doors.
“Locke Burger has had to adapt to many challenges in 2020, but we’re excited and hopeful about our future,” Chef Richard said. ”We have big plans to expand into additional premises in Casteltroy and bring our simple formula of premium Irish produce and authentic American cooking to new diners in new locations.”