California-Based Habit Burger Grill Is Looking to Expand in Portland

The Santa Barbara-born brand is best known for its flame-grilled Charburger.

The out-of-state burger invasion continues.

Starting in 2015, In-N-Out began opening stores in Southern Oregon, and it continues to creep ever closer to Portland, with talks underway about a new Beaverton location.

A few years later, New York-based Shake Shack began slinging burgers at Cedar Hills Crossing.

Now, the Habit Burger Grill, a Santa Barbara, Calif.-born brand, is eyeing the Rose City as it prepares to open more new outlets nationwide in 2022 than any other year in its history.

Launched in the coastal city in 1969, the Habit is known for its cooked-to-order, flame-grilled patties, and has since grown into a chain of 300 restaurants in 14 states.

In addition to the signature Charburger—which comes with traditional fixings as well as barbecue bacon and teriyaki toppings—the business serves a variety of sandwiches, like sushi-grade ahi tuna, fresh chicken and grilled tenderloin steak. Since this is a California fast food operation, you can also expect a larger-than-usual lineup of vibrant salads as well as a couple of creative turns with the fryer, such as tempura green beans.

There is not currently a scheduled opening in the Portland area, but the Habit is actively looking for franchisees.

“The support we provide to franchisees provides 360-degree guidance on running great restaurants—from technology to real estate, training, design, marketing, menu innovation and everything in between,” CEO Russ Bendel stated in a press release. “We are eager to share fresh, handcrafted meals and the laid-back, Southern California vibe that the Habit exudes with guests in Portland.”

So until some ambitious entrepreneur makes local burger history by opening the first Habit in the state, you’ll need to take a road trip more than 100 miles north to get one of the brand’s famous Charburgers. There are about 10 restaurants in and around Seattle—the closest is in the suburb of Bonney Lake.