CLEARWATER, Fla. — A change in brand, menus, and shows at Hamburger Mary's is helping the Clearwater location grow.
"This location has seen it all, good, bad, and indifferent. Through it all we're still here," employee Antwanette Chanel Roberts said.
The franchise has struggled in the Tampa Bay area after the health department reported a worker at the Ybor location had Hepatitis A. The locations in Brandon, St. Petersburg, and Tampa had to be shut down almost 10 months ago.
"We are the only Hamburger Mary's on the west coast of Florida. It's been lots of love and dedication from staff, employees, volunteers," executive chef Deborah Cianflone said.
The Clearwater location never had any cases of Hepatitis A and never had to close. That's why the management wants to change the customer's perception and have a fresh start.
"This issue happened with the other Hamburger Mary's, but we didn't give up the hope we said it's going to work. We also made sure that our staff had gotten the shots done," owner Bhavna Kanakia said.
For many of the employees that used to work at other locations, everything has come full circle.
"I was blessed and fortunate enough to be placed in at this location that did make it through a lot of the storm," Chanel Roberts said.
Staff said there are no health scares there and customers are ready to enjoy the environment.
"Everybody's really friendly, the food is fantastic and I love that there's no judgment," customer Lauren Notaro-Smith said.