UPPER WEST SIDE — A new kosher burger joint and sports bar is opening its doors this week, serving twists on classic bar fare like a tortilla-wrapped hot dog and Japanese-style sloppy joe.
Prime Burger, owned by the same team that runs kosher Japanese steakhouse Prime KO, is opening on Tuesday directly beneath Prime KO at 217 West 85th St., near Broadway, officials said. The space previously hosted private events for the kosher steakhouse.
Prime KO, known as a high-end hot spot that's frequented by celebs like Lindsay Lohan, Snooki and New York Knicks players, came up with the spinoff burger concept within the past month, organizers said.
"We've been looking to do a burger joint," said Chef David Kolotkin, who will be overseeing the new restaurant with Chef Makoto Kameyama, who will also continue to be the head chef at Prime KO. "Burgers are cool."
Because of its kosher status and use of certified Angus beef, the restaurant isn't worried about competition from Five Napkin Burger, located just a block away, or French Roast next door on Broadway, the chefs said.
Prime's kosher restaurants — owned by the Prime Hospitality Group — are generally more upscale and pricey, including Prime Grill and its Chinese restaurant Solo, so this gave the chefs an opportunity to branch out, they said.
"All of our other restaurants are very serious. This is a place to cut loose and have fun. It's a great place for birthdays or a guys night," Kolotkin said.
"I was thinking all-American, sloppy, fun, sports."
The 130-seat spot will have at least two flat-screen TVs showing sports and sell burgers in the $15 range.
It's also a chance to show people that kosher food can be as inventive and interesting as any other cuisine, Kolotkin explained.
"Kosher used to be matzo ball soup," he said.
The menu offers tweaks to traditional bar fare, like the Mexican hot dog Kolotkin created. The $12.50 weiner comes wrapped in a crispy tortilla and served with pico de gallo and guacamole.
On the burger side, Kameyama adds some Asian flavors with a sukiyaki burger, which he described as a Japanese sloppy joe.
"It's sliced beef cooked with onions, soy sauce and sugar and then cooked in sweet sake," he said.
There are a few salads on offer, but Prime Burger mostly features heartier selections like mini-corndogs, buffalo wings, lamb chorizo sausages, curly fries and an array of toppings and sauces to add to each dish.
Frothy alcoholic drinks with sweet liqueurs, fruit purees or chocolate and cream are also available, as well as a list of signature cocktails, spirits and wine and beer.
Prime Burger opens for dinner on April 1 and then closes for Passover on April 14. It will reopen on April 23 with lunch from noon to 4 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 11 p.m. It will be closed on Friday nights and all day Saturday until an hour-and-a-half after sundown.