Gahanna is home to the first Smashburger in central Ohio.
The business opened Feb. 20 at the Commons at Clark Hall, 109 N. Hamilton Road.
Darcy Hansen, Gahanna franchise co-owner with husband Drew, said the restaurant enjoyed a wonderful opening.
Smashburger features handcrafted, fresh Angus beef that's smashed on a 400-degree flat grill to sear in the juicy flavor. The burgers are served on toasted artisan buns and topped with a selection of fresh produce and real cheeses, she said.
"We're excited to be here," Hansen said. "Everything has gone great."
She said serendipity played into Gahanna being the first of six Smashburgers planned for central Ohio.
"The space became available," she said. "We were tickled. The community has a wonderful reputation."
She said building is expected to begin in late summer for a Smashburger in Westerville, and a Hilliard-Rome Road location is also being considered.
The Hansens plan to open six restaurants in their franchise territory in northern Franklin County and Delaware County.
"We are thrilled to introduce Columbus to our better burger," said Tom Ryan, Smashburger founder. "As an important test market, Columbus has seen its fair share of mouth-watering food, but they haven't tasted a burger until they've tried one from our menu."
Drew Hansen has 35 years of restaurant experience, having spent 32 years with Wendy's International Inc.
"Smashburger is exactly what Columbus residents are looking for," he said. "We'll be serving up great burgers with a choice of healthy alternatives and unmatched service. And I guarantee they won't find another burger like this in central Ohio."
Darcy Hansen said the restaurant is a new concept that's considered fast-casual.
After customers place their orders, a server brings the food to guests' tables and checks back for customer satisfaction.
"There's a lot more high service," she said.
Gahanna's Smashburger has 34 crew members and four managers.
Corey Poches of Gahanna said he appreciates the good food and service at the new business. Although he isn't an Ohio State University fan, the first Smashburger he tried was called the Buckeye. That burger is topped with fried pepper rings, haystack onions, American cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise on a toasted egg bun.
He also recommends the Smashfries, tossed with rosemary, olive oil and garlic.
Columbus resident Clay Bridges created his own burger with goat cheese.
"It was good," he said. "I liked that everything is fresh."
Smashburger also offers a wide assortment of chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, salads, a selection of local beverages, craft beer and hand-spun Haagen-Dazs shakes and malts.
Prices range from $4.99 for a classic Smashburger to $6.99 for a large signature burger.
Developed and owned by the Denver-based private-equity firm Consumer Capital Partners, Smashburger operates and develops both corporate and multi-unit franchise territories worldwide, with 196 restaurants across 28 markets in the United States, Canada, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Costa Rica.
Consumer Capital Partners is a private investment and concept development firm focused on multi-unit retail businesses, primarily in the restaurant industry.