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Habit Burger opens with slew of fundraisers

  • Employees train on the register for The Habit Burger Grill opening next week in the new Friedman's shopping center.

With burgers under $5 and a staff full of local high schoolers, Habit Burger will be the second business to welcome customers at the Deer Creek Village shopping center on McDowell Boulevard. Set to open June 25, the burger joint will initially launch with a series of fundraisers for local nonprofits this weekend.

"We pride ourselves as a company that gives back to the community," said Jamie Tapia, district manager for Habit Burger.

Unlike similar dine-and-donate fundraisers, Habit Burger gives 100 percent of proceeds to the charity of choice, which is good news for the Boys & Girls Club of Marin and Southern Sonoma County, Casa Grande High School and the Petaluma Educational Foundation.

"It's a very gracious way to enter a new community," said Maureen Highland of the Petaluma Educational Foundation.

On Sunday, June 22, Habit Burger will donate all of the proceeds from its inaugural lunch crowd to the Boys & Girls Club of Marin & Southern Sonoma Counties from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The dinner rush that day will be dedicated to Casa Grande High School. On Tuesday, June 24, proceeds from the lunchtime sales from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. will go to the Petaluma Educational Foundation. The restaurant opens with its regular hours beginning next Wednesday.

Started in 1969 in Santa Barbara, Petaluma's Habit Burger marks the chain's 95th store. Rohnert Park and Napa are also home to the burger joint, which has plans to open in Novato as well. With the motto "Respect the Burger," the company touts its usage of fresh ingredients, which includes flying Albacore tuna from Fiji three times a week.

"We like Petaluma because it's a great family town and we know the Habit appeals to families," said Mike Mirkil, vice president of marketing for Habit Burger.

The restaurant hired 35 employees, "many of which came from Casa Grande," Tapia said.

Following the opening of Habit Burger, Togo's will open in July, Mary's Pizza Shack in August and City Sports is expected to open in September, with three other business leases in the works to fill out the 12.5-acre commercial complex.

(Contact Emily Charrier at emily.charrier@arguscourier.com)


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