Fast Food

Burgers, yes, but it’s also about family at Hamburger Harry’s

Bobby Mitchell’s penchant for working in the restaurant business runs deep. Since he was a kid, Mitchell worked at his father’s restaurant, Pier 70. As a teenager, he washed dishes. When he turned 18, he waited tables and, at 21, he worked as a bartender.

So, it’s no surprise that he followed in his father’s footsteps.

Today Mitchell owns and runs Hamburger Harry’s, a popular gourmet burger restaurant in Edmonds on Fifth Avenue South. Mitchell and his two younger brothers originally opened the restaurant in Ballard on Market Street. In May 2009, they moved to Edmonds, where Mitchell has lived for 30 years.

Since their start in the restaurant industry, the Mitchells have operated under the same banner that made their late father’s establishments successful: familiarity and a strong family-oriented atmosphere.

“It’s all about family,” Mitchell said. “We want our customers to come in and feel welcomed. Of course, we want them to enjoy our excellent food, but we are very proud of our service. We want to offer them service like they’ve never experienced before. And, honestly, I believe we do.”

Patrons can experience the family ambiance and superior service for themselves whether they eat inside or on the patio. Outside sits a sandbox for children equipped with buckets and sand shovels. Customers can also enjoy tents and heaters.

Inside, video games and a pinball machine line one wall. For sports lovers, five TVs are strategically placed throughout the cozy restaurant. And a collection of memorabilia hangs on the wall with autographed pictures of Michael Jordan and Ty Cobb.

A signed photo of actor Robert De Niro depicting boxer Jake LaMotta in the 1980 biopic film “Raging Bull” is another sentimental piece Mitchell’s father collected and passed on to his sons.

“We have something for everyone,” Mitchell said. “This is not a sports bar. It’s a place where families can gather and enjoy excellent food while being served by our friendly staff.”

With one of his brothers passing and the other moving on to open his restaurant, Mitchell and his 20-employee staff work the popular venue today.

“We have a great staff,” Mitchell said. “We have little turnover, and when we have to, we accommodate those who need to work other jobs or need to go to school. It’s essential to keep a strong, loyal staff.”

On Wednesdays, patrons enjoy Trivia Night, hosted by Lindsey Honka. It’s free to play and open to all ages. There are last-chance drawings and prizes for 1st and 2nd place.

“We have our regulars, but also, we see new people quite often,” Mitchell said. “And Lindsay, she’s wonderful. We have a lot of fun.”

Now and again, Mitchell hosts fundraisers for veterans and brings in the Lane James Band for live music.

“That’s something we are honored to do,” Mitchell said. “And we have a great time when we do.”

When Mitchell says there’s something for everyone, he’s also referring to his food. For meat lovers, there’s the ultra-popular Peanut Butter Burger ($17.95) and the always-tasty Triple Crown Burger ($17.49).

“I don’t know why, but our Peanut Butter burger is our most popular burger,” Mitchell said. “I am not a big peanut butter lover, but I got to say it’s surprisingly good. And believe me, people love it.”

Harrys also offers the plant-based Impossible Burger ($17.49) for those who prefer a vegetarian choice. There’s a wide range of chicken choices, including a Crispy Chicken Sandwich ($15.95), a Chicken Caesar Salad ($15.95), and a Chicken Caesar Wrap ($15.95).

“We know that our customers have a lot of options to choose from when they go out for dinner, so we want to offer them a wide range of dishes to choose from,” Mitchell said. “We have a lighter option portion on our menu, a kids’ menu, and excellent appetizers. Our onion rings with our special Harry’s sauce are phenomenal.”

Other dishes include fish and chips, a Philly Steak, a BLT on sourdough, and if you’re daring enough, there are fried pickles.

Mitchell pointed out that nearly most of the food is freshly prepared. There are no frozen patties. And when possible, he buys his vegetables from the local farmer’s market.

“We don’t even have a freezer here,” he said. “I believe in serving only fresh food. We don’t use frozen patties when you order one of our gourmet burgers.”

When it comes time to take the family out for dinner, and you’re looking for a welcoming, fun atmosphere, Hamburger Harry’s should be on the top of your list.

Hamburger Harrys is open Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 1 to 8 p.m. It’s also open Sundays from 1 to 7 p.m. For more information, visit the restaurant’s website at

Hamburger Harrys is at 610 Fifth Avenue South, Edmonds.

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