NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers University students returning to class this fall will have three new eateries available in a former Easton Avenue book store: an Israeli burger chain and two other restaurants.
Burgerim Gourmet Burgers, originally an Israeli chain featuring mini burgers that has 60 franchises nationally and internationally, plans to open it’s first New Jersey outlet at 37 Easton Ave., according to Marta Person Villa, senior vice president with the JLL real estate firm.
Frutta Bowls, a company that started in Freehold and expanded to other states, has already opened a franchise in the same building, and the Halal Guys, a New York-based company with three locations in New Jersey, is supposed to open there.
Halal Guys already has a franchise in East Brunswick.
Burgerim and Halal each signed 10 year leases to operate at the Easton Avenue location, and Frutta agreed to a five-year lease, Villa said in a statement released Tuesday.
Saxum Real Estate, which purchased the Easton Avenue building last year, plans to renovate the structure and market the second floor of the two-story building as office space, Villa said.
Burgerim, which has restaurants in California, Texas, Florida, Nevada and Virginia, has plans for franchises in Metuchen, Newark, Union Township in Union County and Englewood, according to the company website.
Burgerim presents its mini "gourmet" burgers in boxes, similar to donuts, in which customers can decide the toppings on each. Currently, the closest franchised location appears to be in Queens, NY.
All three new New Brunswick eateries will be on the ground floor of the building previously occupied by New Jersey Books, which served Rutgers students as a direct competitor to the university bookstore. The building is also a short distance from the city's two hospitals, as well as the New Brunswick Train Station and Albany Street.
News of the new food outlets comes one month after Brother Jimmy's BBQ closed on Easton Avenue, another business catering to the Rutgers crowd. City officials said declining sales left the business unable to pay its rent to the New Brunswick Parking Authority, which owns the property and operates and adjacent parking deck.
The city has filed suit against that company, seeking $83,000 in back rent.
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