Goodbye Harry, hello karaoke: has Keira St had its burger limit?

The new Food World Gourmet Cafe has wasted no time re-opening in its new digs, with a karaoke bar planned for upstairs. Picture: Georgia Matts
The new Food World Gourmet Cafe has wasted no time re-opening in its new digs, with a karaoke bar planned for upstairs. Picture: Georgia Matts

When are too many burgers just too many?

Inner-city Wollongong’s sheer saturation of hamburger restaurants may have claimed a recent interloper, with Queensland chain Hello Harry deciding to relocate from Keira St to Dapto.

Into its place at 157 Keira St has moved the Wollongong Chinese institution Food World Gourmet Cafe, which shifted across the road.

There are now plans for a late-night bar and karaoke venue upstairs.  A development application is in with Wollongong City Council including plans to convert the office space into an entertainment venue, and extended trading hours sought from 10am to 3am.

The Mercury asked the Hello Harry company why it was moving out so soon, and spokesman Rob McCue said they had simply been made an offer they couldn’t refuse – so they’re off to Dapto.

“The Wollongong store chose to relocate after being approached by an individual who desperately wanted the Keira street site,” Mr McCue said on Friday.

“The individual presented an offer that was too good for our franchisee to refuse.

The individual presented an offer that was too good for our franchisee to refuse

“The Wollongong store is reopening very soon in Dapto [and] we look forward to serving all our guests again.” 

The Keira St food strip is already awash with burger joints as proprietors try and ride the resurgence in the popularity American cuisine which has gripped Australian cities.

Within metres of each other on Keira St are the famed Americana burger bar His Boy Elroy, busy butcher-slash-kitchen Bush’s Meats, popular chain restaurant Grill’d, and the Living Room, which prides itself on burgers.

There’s even a place which named itself after the rash of burger restaurants: around the corner in Globe Lane is the imaginitive Japanese-influenced eatery Another Burger Joint.

The “individual” who made the irresistible offer is understood to be University of Wollongong graduate Haojing “Michael” Li, director of the Food World group and president of the Wollongong Chinese Business Association.

Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery has described the up and coming businessman as “a dynamo for Wollongong”.

Wollongong City Council is assessing the development application for the karaoke bar, which will be open for public comment.