One of Thayer Street’s unsung staples, Better Burger Company Coming Soon, is on the verge of foreclosure, according to store owner Drgary Griffith. Better Burger Company Coming Soon, not to be confused with local chain Better Burger Company, is a small locally owned burger joint that has won the hearts and stomachs of almost no one in its three-year tenure on Thayer Street.
“I’ve tried everything,” lamented Griffith. “Printing a small sign at Kinkos, putting that sign up in the window, proofreading the sign, reprinting the sign without any typos, putting the sign up in the window again, making sure the sign wasn’t upside down or backwards – the list goes on.”
Better Burger Company Coming Soon has the dubious honor of being the only burger joint on Thayer Street not yet to have won ‘Best Burger in Providence,’ but that has not stopped Griffith from persevering through the tough economic crisis. Using his ‘minimalist’ managerial style, Griffith has cut from his budget “superfluous expenses” like extra napkins, free barbecue sauce, tables, chairs, central heat, running water, electricity, employees, rent and personal hygiene so he can “focus on the product.”
“I have cooked my trademark ‘Soon Burgers’ the same way all my life: with a magnifying glass, some crumpled up newspaper and a big metal trash can. Besides the beef, it costs practically nothing, and all of the other local vagrants say the trash can adds some flavors that a stove top never could.”
Gregden Ogleby, one of Griffiths few but loyal customers, had nothing but nice things to say about the quality of the Soon Burger. “That Drgary Griffith sure knows how to cook a mean hamburger,” raved Ogleby, curiously dressed in a puffy old Northface jacket and draped beneath a small, tattered blanket on the Thayer Street sidewalk in spite of a scorching 90 degree heat wave. “It is far and
away the best thing I’ve ever eaten out of a trash can. And that’s saying something.”
Jokes aside, however, times have been nothing but tough for Griffith, as a slow year in sales has forced him to revert to more drastic measures to keep his business out of the red. “Yeah, I usually spend the [work]day out on the streets, asking pedestrians for small monetary donations to feed my family,” confessed Griffith.
￼Sadly, these feelings of family and warmth have not been returned by the community. Griffin has even been besmirched by passers-by as a “squatter,” a “vagabond,” and even a “not even a registered business owner.”
Likely from fear that the disgruntled local populous might vandalize his storefront, Griffin has even taken to sleeping on the curb outside of his restaurant. And yet, in spite of this noble, painful sacrifice, Griffith has maintained a positive, jovial demeanor.
“I always sleep here,” remarked Griffith, reminding the world that a sense of hu- mor can brighten even the deepest of life’s many troughs. In addition, a self proclaimed “real” business owner has staked claim to Griffith’s restaurant, citing a “deed not written in ketchup using a wooden Starbucks stirrer,” and has began furnishing and rebuilding Griffith’s space under Griffith’s own powerless and oft runny nose. While Better Burger Company Coming Soon has overcome many obstacles in the pursuit of the American dream, it seems that now, finally, Griffith has tragically accepted defeat.
“It was a good ride, but I guess it was never meant to be,” shrugged Griffith, who unflaggingly still spends his days asking for donations, likely in hopes that he might someday find a new, more affordable location for his unconventional eatery. “Sometimes I even wonder what the world would have been like if Better Burger Company Coming Soon had never existed in the first place.”