Umami* of Nantucket: LoLa BurgerBy Sara BoyceWell, we can breathe a sigh of relief. It’s true. Marco Coehlo is taking over the former Roadhouse at The Rotary and will re-open his famed LoLa Burger this April, in time for Daffodil Weekend. How do I know? Gene and I got a whirlwind tour from the busy man himself. We all know Marco is a master of creating energy and ambiance. Have you ever tried to keep up with him? It’s tough. Matching his physical pace and his rapid-fire ideas? Tougher still. Excitedly gesturing as he walked us through the kitchen, restaurant, and outdoor seating area, he shared his vision.
Marco CoehloThe outdoor bar will be removed, and a new bar will take up one side of the dining room. The bar area will offer artisanal beers, about 6 on draft and 18 to 20 in bottles, anchored (of course) by a selction from Cisco Brewers. Wine options will include a red, white, and a bubbly. Laughing, he said, “You know me: the actual bar itself has to be cool. Half of my budget will go towards the bar.”The chalkboard walls will display the menu, specials and artisanal beer list. Seating will be “first-come, first-served” in the 100 seats, evenly split between inside and outside.The menu will be simple and clean: Lobster Rolls, the trademark LoLa Burgers, Fried Chicken, Chicken Sandwiches, Truffle Fries, Togarashi Fries (a Japanese seven-spice blend), and side salads. There will be Frozen Yogurt or Frozen Custard at the back “ice cream stand”.“We’re not looking for a long wait for food. You’re going to be able to come in, place your order, sit outside, and we’ll bring the food to you.”
The Classic Burger
Truffle FriesPricing will be exceptionally reasonable, Marco says. Like the former LoLa Burger on the Strip, burgers will be priced at $6 to $20. Marco explained: “The idea is that you can walk in here and have a beer and a burger for less than $20. Parents can come in with their three kids and walk out spending less than $50, which doesn’t often happen on Nantucket.”“Team Hospitality Management” is the parent company of Pazzo, LoLa 41, and LoLa Burger. The tight team is led by Marco and includes Sean Kalman and Timmy Smiles as Co-General Managers, Robert Boslow (Boz) as Executive Chef, and Audrey Wagner as Director of Public Relations. Boz will oversee the kitchen and create the menu. Chris Lamphier, who worked at LoLa 41 as Sous Chef in its first year, has returned to Nantucket to be the Chef de Cuisine at Lola Burger. Timmy and Sean are perfecting the artisanal beer menu.Property owner Lisa Soeder, who recently completely renovated the entire restaurant, says, “We’re delighted that Marco and his team are going to bring their tried-and-true LoLa Burger to the rotary. We think it’s just what Nantucket needs – a centrally located, reasonably priced restaurant offering casual food.”There is no doubt there will be brisk traffic at LoLa Burger and the team is expecting a thriving take-out business. Girding for a busy summer, Marco is clearly excited by being so centrally located at the “biggest drive-by spot on the island”. He has had this vision for awhile and waited for the perfect location. “The whole idea of establishing LoLa Burger (at the Strip) was to move elsewhere to include seats and beer. Now that Pazzo is walking on its own, I have time to take on another project.”Lola Burger will be open from Daffodil through Stroll, from 11am – 9 pm (10 pm on weekends).508-228-9491*”Umami” is something the Japanese recognize as the 5th flavor, in addition to sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. A nuanced word, one could define it as the “je ne sais quoi” that deepens flavor, the experience, and imparts satisfaction and sensory delight. To me, it’s “that which makes Nantucket special”.
One of Nantucket’s residents who came to the island for 3 weeks and stayed a decade, Sara Boyce is always looking for that ‘extra flavor’ in life whenever and wherever she can. After many years running The Brigham Galleries, Sara recently launched www.GreyLadyWines.com, where she works with Nantucket’s wine authority, Denis Toner, to discover and promote exceptional, small-production wines. A supporter of the arts and many of the island’s non-profits, chances are she’s cooking, brainstorming marketing concepts, or on the dance floor if she’s not traveling. To share thoughts on Nantucket’s food, wine, or social scene, email her at Sara@GreyLadyWines.com.This article initially appeared in the 3/6/13 edition of Mahon About Town.
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