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Liverpool burger restaurant celebrates first year with mighty eating challenges

10 months ago

Liverpool burger restaurant celebrates first year with mighty eating challenges
Poppin' Burgers

A Liverpool burger restaurant is celebrating its first birthday with a night of eating challenges including a never-before-attempted mighty burger created especially for the occasion.

Hollie Wilson swapped her NHS job to launch Poppin’ Burgers in the Excelsior pub on Dale Street after spotting an ad on Facebook a year ago.

Since then, she’s built up a customer base of loyal fans for her unique flavours including the Popzilla, which combines two of Hollie’s personal food favourites – burgers and curries – into one spicy stacked speciality.

On Saturday July 15, Poppin’ Burgers is marking turning one with a night that includes a DJ, games and eating challenges which means Hollie’s been busy in the kitchen.

She says: “There’ll be a hot wing chilli challenge and I’ve also created a new burger which has four beef burgers, a buttermilk chicken breast, onion rings, and a special sauce – it’s a hefty one!

“Nobody’s tried it yet, Saturday will be the first time, but I’ve already had a lot of people asking what we’re doing so I know they’re looking forward to both challenges.”

Hollie Wilson

For 31-year-old Hollie, Poppin’ Burgers has been a complete change of direction from her previous job at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.

She worked there for six-and-a-half years, first as a data manager in the research department and then, after a promotion, in clinical trials.

“But I got to the point where unless I had a nursing degree, I couldn’t really go any further,” she explains. “I’ve wanted to run my own business from being young but I never really knew what I wanted to do. I’ve always had a love of food, I used to be a food and drink blogger, so I thought I’d do something which involved the two and it’s been absolutely great.

“When I first left high school I had a job as a kitchen porter for a company catering large-scale events around the UK, like the Chelsea Flower Show and Henley Regatta. 

“I’d also done some bar work and waiting on jobs, so those things have all added up to the bigger picture because they’ve given me a really good grounding in how to be with customers and how a kitchen is run.”

Just as Hollie, who comes from Birkenhead, was considering her career options, fate intervened when she was scrolling social media.

Poppin' Burgers
Poppin’ Burgers

“I saw an ad on Facebook from The Excelsior so I got in touch and decided to go for it and rent kitchen space from them. It was like the stars all aligned and everything fell into place, the pub lent me their equipment to get myself up and running and I’ve just built things up from there. 

“The Excelsior is a football pub, the landlord’s a huge Evertonian and they show all the games live, so when the season’s up and running it’s very busy but that’s also got me retained customers and I’m getting a lot of returning students too. They absolutely love the food and we’ve started doing a pub quiz on a Tuesday as well which has been really popular.”

Hollie still looks after every element of the business herself – devising the menu, cooking and serving – and says the key to its success is customers universal love of burgers as well as some quirky combinations.

Hollie Wilson

“I think burgers bring everybody together, you can’t go wrong with a good burger.

“On our menu we have two different types of chicken burgers, one is regular buttermilk, the other is the Popzilla, and there’s not another burger like it in Liverpool so it’s been a big hit. The buttermilk seasoning is made with flour and six Indian spices, it’s got mango chutney on, two onion bhajis and a yoghurt and mint sauce.

“As well as the meat burgers, I’ve also got a couple of veggie and vegan – a halloumi and a beetroot burger made with beans – a hotter than hell which has an extra spicy homemade chilli sauce, jalapenos and hot sauce, and a mac and cheese burger.

“Even our regular cheeseburger has got something which makes it a bit different – it has homemade fried onions seasoned in Cajun spices with Frazzles on top to give it a bit of extra crunch!”

Anyone else fancy a burger now? For more info on Poppin’ Burgers click here.



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