Killer Burger, the locally born franchise that has been rapidly expanding across the Northwest in recent years, has now actually closed at least one shop.
The storefront at 1620 NW 23rd Ave. that had been slinging patties since September 2021 is no longer firing up its grill. It’s not clear when exactly the location closed, but the change must have been recent: As of June 29, Google still listed the business as open. But Killer Burger has scrubbed the restaurant from its website and a note on the door announces the shop’s demise.
The chain opened the Slabtown location five months after announcing it had signed a lease in 2021. Despite the pandemic’s overall brutal blow to the hospitality industry, Killer Burger managed to grow. The shop was the company’s seventh within Portland proper back then, bumping up the brand’s total count to 15 across the region. And since the outer fringes of this formerly industrial area are now booming with businesses, the bet to move into the neighborhood seemed to be a safe one.
“Slabtown is one of the top neighborhoods for restaurants in Portland right now,” TJ Southard, the company’s founder and CEO, stated in a press release at the time. “It was important for us to add a location to this part of town and further cement the connection between Killer Burger and our hometown.”
Killer Burger representatives did not immediately respond to questions about the closure.
At this point, one might wonder if the Northwest 23rd restaurant space suffers from the Curse of the New Old Lompoc, which used to call that stretch of block home. That wonderfully dark and dingy shack where you could hunker down with a pint and decades of character was razed in 2012 to make room for a mixed-use complex, which included a sanitized, condo dweller-friendly version of the pub renamed “Lompoc Tavern.” Things, of course, were never really the same, and that business shuttered in 2018.
Ankeny Tap & Table then gave the place a go by opening a second location there. It, too, failed to survive.
There are still plenty of Killer Burger locations throughout Portland and across the state. Medford, in fact, is scheduled to get its first restaurant this summer. There are also several shops in Washington and one in Idaho, should you find yourself in need of a peanut butter pickle bacon burger while on the road.