Nicole Benjamin and Garrett Sathre are hard at work fixing up the old Los Primos restaurant, across from Cochon Volant BBQ, with plans to open West – Handmade Burgers in late spring.
The small 1,100-square-foot spot, located at 18375 Sonoma Highway, will sell a limited menu of burgers, shakes and fries but it will be open late and offer both take out and dine in. Bicycle delivery within the Springs neighborhood is also planned.
Garrett, 33, grew up on Keaton Avenue and attended Flowery Elementary School and Altimira Middle School. He and Benjamin, 38, returned to Sonoma in 2012 and their daughter is now a kindergartener at Flowery.
The couple are already well-known around town for their other successful business – Handmade Events. Since 2011, Benjamin and Sathre have organized popular pop-up dinners, including the annual Sonoma Valley event in July which sells out quickly each year.
Their first pop-up event in San Francisco drew more than 3,500 people dressed in white to picnic under the stars. Since then they have expanded and now offer pop-up dinners in cities across the U.S. Their biggest annual event, in Brooklyn, N.Y., drew 6,000 people last year. The Sonoma event, which drew 750 guests last year, is their smallest but it’s their favorite.
“We love it that we offer it here and that our kids can see what we do,” said Benjamin.
Sathre fell in love with the burger business earlier in his 20s when he owned and ran Bubba’s Fine Diner in San Anselmo. “Ever since then, I’ve had the itch to do a burger place again,” he said.
“Garrett has been cooking his whole life, personally and professionally, and he makes the best burgers ever, promise,” said Benjamin.
“It’s going to be a tiny menu, done right,” she added. “We’ll grind our own meat and be specializing in flat top burgers.”
Variations might include a truffle burger, a veggie burger and one or two more options. Beer and wine won’t be served.
“We want this to be a super family-friendly place,” said Benjamin. “We’ll be open for lunch and dinner and we’ll stay open until at least 10 p.m.”
The couple now live just down the road from their newest project.
“We love our home, our community and we can’t wait to bring something new to the table,” said Benjamin in a Facebook post announcing the new venture.
West – Handmade Burgers does not yet have a website but you can follow the progress of the restaurant on Facebook.