HM!HB! delivers an experience true burger fans can’t get enough of. Co-owners Rory Myers and Matt Woodhouse source all their ingredients from local suppliers, including the grass-fed, pastured Sussex beef, leaving no stone unturned in pursuit of serving the tastiest burgers possible.
Inspired by their trips to authentic American burger joints and the street-food scene in Brooklyn, New York, the pair decided to bring the experience to the South Coast by opening the first fully licensed burger restaurant in St. Leonards and Hastings.
After honing their craft back in 2013 at pop-up and street-food events in Brighton, the pair quickly graduated to rocking their burgers on the UK festival circuit, including Glastonbury Festival and Sonisphere. Their frantic dedication, sheer hard work and integrity led to the opening of their first permanent home at the art-deco-tastic Marine Court in St. Leonards On Sea.
made a stop to eat with us on a Monday, but we were closed. After that, we started opening seven days a week.”
HM! HB! maintains a laid-back feel that attracts a constant stream of hungry customers which has earned them a hardcore Half Man! Half Burger! faithful.
It’s a Shoreditch, seaside-hipster vibe complimented by a retro-industrial interior and vintage indie music posters. Stepping in to the burger joint, customers are welcomed by busy burgaristas and a menu that is tailored to suit every foodie – from meat-eaters and vegetarians to vegans. In July 2018, the first ever vegan special burger, the mighty ‘Beanie Mother Frickle’ was added to the menu to cater for the growing Vegan market.
Rory and Matt received a start-up loan to support the launch and refurbishment of their first burger joint. Rory said:
“The Start-Up Loans scheme was hugely helpful to us way back when we were setting up our new business. The loan and grant coordinators expect to see a viable business plan, which led us to dedicate time to work on our figures and projections. This helped to educate us, and we were able to develop a strong plan for the future.”
Half Man Half Burger also received support from Locate East Sussex, the official Inward Investment Agency of East Sussex and part of Let’s Do Business Group to help with start-up costs. Specifically, the funding helped to equip a whole new kitchen, refine the interior and support the creation of five new jobs.
Since 2013, HM! HB! have come a long way. From being named Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year in 2016 at the Best of East Sussex Business Awards to setting up a brand-new restaurant in indie-haven Grove Road, Eastbourne, next to vinyl record shops, small theatres, comic stores and indie coffee shops the very same year. It’s un-surprising that Grove Road was described as “the next wave of coastal cool” by The Sunday Times.
Proudly branded 4.5/5* on TripAdvisor and The Telegraph, HM!HB! has not reached the height of their success just yet, with potential plans to open a third burger restaurant and perhaps more in the future.
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