EXCLUSIVE — Hamburger Mary, the popular Church Street burgerie, will expand to the space next door and open Mary’s Sidebar Cafe. The previous occupants of the space have included Church Street Tavern and The Dessert Lady.
John Paonessa and Mike Rogier say they have been wanting to expand since the restaurant opened in 2008. Paonessa told me that the restaurant often turns people away, especially on nights when the popular shows featuring Mary impersonators take place. “Many times, we will have a line out the door with customers going to a concert, and we have to close seating due to our drag show or other in-house event,” Paonessa said. The additional space, he said, “gives us the flexibility we need to work through some of those issues (giving us additional seating for those nights) and also allow us to offer a different menu with a bit more creativity.”
Mary’s Sidebar Cafe will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast will have full, hot meals or grab-and-go takeout options, along with a variety of coffees.
In the evening, the cafe will offer a range of desserts, a nod, said Paonessa, to the Dessert Lady.
The owners are aiming for an Oct. 1 opening.