"Live Fast, Eat Well" with Grindhouse Killer Burgers

Alex Brounstein 00B 05B 05L takes on Atlanta's fast casual dining business - and wins.

By Michelle Valigursky

Story Photo

Burgers are the go-to comfort food for many, and Alex Brounstein 00B 05B 05L knows how to make a killer one. Though his recipes may remain secret, his success in Atlanta’s fast casual dining arena is well known. From real estate attorney to restaurant mogul of Grindhouse Killer Burgers, Brounstein knows what his city wants.

After working for Weinstock and Scavo law firm and transitioning to a senior analyst position for real estate consulting firm Robert Charles Lessner & Co. following graduation from Emory, Brounstein discovered growth potential within Atlanta’s urban landscape. He took great interest in one of the area’s historic local landmarks – the Sweet Auburn Curb Market. In short order, he decided to do something to save this legendary destination that evolved after the Great Atlanta Fire of 1917 and became prominent in Atlanta’s multicultural history.

Brounstein pitched his business plan for energizing the market to local governing authorities. In the following phase, he raised more than $1 million in funding through grants, and infused the city’s market with new energy. His strategy worked and he took a personal stake in its success. In 2009, Brounstein launched the first Grindhouse Killer Burgers in the famed Sweet Auburn Curb Market – and a cult classic was born.

Grindhouse Killer Burger Meal

Grindhouse and Kung Fu Flicks

Inspired by movies like “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” and grindhouse flicks of the sixties, Brounstein coined the name Grindhouse Killer Burgers. Stop by one of the restaurants for burgers that have earned them the distinction of being nicknamed “little flavor bombs.” Another critic praised, “The insanely thick milkshakes are possibly the best I have ever sucked through a straw.”

Brounstein clearly has discovered the winning formula for earning customer loyalty. “It’s all about giving the customer a really fun experience,” he says. The playfulness of his restaurants has stuck a chord with patrons. “I do love Kung Fu movies, and I figured it’s a lot better than showing CNN or ESPN.”  With continuous screenings of sci-fi movie classics like Godzilla and some of Brounstein’s Kung Fu favorites, “People will end up sticking around for an extra hour just to watch the end of the movie.”

In 2011, Grindhouse expanded with the opening of its second, ‘flagship’ 100+ seat location on Piedmont Avenue, a converted fueling station featuring a killer covered patio, giant Killer Burgers neon signage, and a full bar serving its now infamous Boozy Shakes. In 2013, Grindhouse opened two more locations - one in the Five Points area of Athens, and another outpost in the D terminal of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Following the launch of Hi-Five Diner in midtown Atlanta in February, expansion of the restaurant group continues, with a new venture under development for Decatur. 

Grindhouse Killer Burgers Restaurant

Editor's Note: Find your neighborhood Killer Burgers location.

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Michelle Valigursky