Little Shop of Burgers scares up business in north Casper

Chance Rodriquez delivers orders to customers last Friday during lunch rush at Little Shop of Burgers in north Casper. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

 

Dining out has gotten a little more frightening in Casper.

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Little Shop of Burgers opened this month on Friday the 14th, unfortunately just barely missing a perfect pun by one day. However, that didn’t stop frightening amounts of customers from lining up like starving zombies outside of a mall.

“I can’t believe how quickly this blew up,” said co-owner Sarah Weikum, who runs the business with her husband Ray Matas.

The new spooky-themed burger joint in north Casper had been open for barely a week and had sold out of food on most of those days. Word of mouth spread faster than film breaks in a Times Square grind house.

Sarah and Ray met while working in a restaurant in the French Quarter in New Orleans. After some years in the restaurant business there, Sarah wanted to move back home to Casper to raise their three kids. “All my family is here, and I love Casper,” said Sarah.

The two had wanted to open their own restaurant for a while, and with help from parents they decided to make the plunge. The first hurdle was figuring out what to do.

“We’re both fans of horror movies, and I grew up watching the old monster movies,” said Sarah. Ray and Sarah were thinking about their restaurant while watching the 1986 classic “Little Shop of Horrors” and decided to run with it.

They went with a straightforward burger menu with fresh beef and house-cut fries. “The food is really important, that’s what’s going to bring them back,” said Sarah. “My husband is the burger connoisseur.”

“I had way too much fun decorating this place,” said Sarah, who also wrote creepy backstories and themes for some of the dining tables. The two also set up a dim room where patrons can watch classic horror movies while eating.

The two had planned to start off in the Eastridge Mall’s food court when they unexpectedly lost their lease during development.

“We were pretty upset, but the landlord here contacted us,” said Sarah. The landlord happened to be looking to fill the former Arepa Barn space at 1040 North Center.

“It actually turned out to be a blessing,” said Sarah, who quickly took advantage of the extra dining and prep space.

“Every day we’re getting more and more people in here, lunchtime is just crazy,” said Sarah. The couple has already hired part-time help for the kitchen and dining room, and plan to eventually hire a full crew. Sarah says they will eventually add more sides and desserts to the menu, along with local craft beer in bottles.

“People have been amazing, really patient and kind and giving us good reviews,” said Sarah.

Little Shop of Burgers is open Monday through Saturday for lunch from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. for dinner. They’re located at 1040 North Center and can be found on Facebook here. 

Co-owner Sarah Weikum takes orders during lunch rush at Little Shop of Burgers last Friday. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

Little Shop of Burgers is in the north Casper building that was occupied for years with La Cocina and more recently the Arepa Barn. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

Horror movies are projected in a small room inside the Little Shop of Burgers. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

Co-owner Ray Matas works the grill during lunch rush at Little Shop of Burgers recently in north Casper. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)