Meet Tri-Cities’ Newest “Ghost Restaurant”
By 2020, I'm sure most people thought flying cars would be the norm. Maybe some people thought we'd have computerized food dispensers with meals made-to-order. Well, we're close. With the rise of freelance food delivery companies and drivers, getting lunch or dinner has never been easier. And for one local business owner, the business side has never been easier.
Chris Nokes started Hot Mess Burgers & Fries last year. Originally called Hot Mess Burgers & Pies, not only did the name change but so did the business plan. Chris was getting ready to set up shop in Richand's Parkway. But life happens as it often does. But Chris took that minor speedbump and thought outside of the box. He'd be the first to tell you that it's just hard for local restaurants to get by. What's one way to overcome that obstacle? Don't operate a brick and mortar. Become a Ghost Restaurant.
That's right. Hot Mess Burgers & Fries doesn't have a restaurant you can sit down in, much less visit. It's as if your food is delivered to you by burger fairies. Chris does his work in a professional kitchen, and DoorDash brings your food to you, wherever you are. Chris says they plan to expand their hours (they currently close before dinner), and they also plan to continue doing pop-ups. I most recently visited them at Middleton Farms Fall Festival. I had Drac's Dread, which was delicious. Drac's Dread is not on the menu, however. When I asked Chris, he told me that by being a "Rebel Restaurant," he has more freedom to create new recipes and bring back burgers deemed too "weird."
For Star Trek fans, Chris says he's working on the "Romulan Warbird." This will be a chicken sandwich with a matcha breading. I can't wait to try it! So this week, if you're craving home-grown burgers, open up your DoorDash app and check out the Hot Mess menu! Did I mention its free delivery?