EASTHAMPTON — Local Burger officially opened another restaurant this past week; this time at the former Riff’s Joint in Eastworks on Pleasant Street.

“We are most excited about being able to cater to a new audience,” said Tabitha Saalfrank, the general manager of the Easthampton location, as well as the Haydenville location. “Every town that we are in has its own uniqueness, and Easthampton is something special. The community is equally as amazing as our other locations, but more importantly, they are extremely welcoming.”

Local Burger is a family-owned and operated restaurant famous for their burgers, fries and shakes. On its Facebook page, the restaurant describes its food as such: “it’s not just fast food-it’s good fast food!”

With the opening of the Easthampton location, the restaurant now has four locations open, including one in Northampton, one in Keene, New Hampshire, and a seasonal spot residing in Haydenville. The Northampton location is positioned downtown at 16 Main St.

The menu is generally similar to the other locations, but according to Saalfrank, the Easthampton location has space to also offer salads with homemade dressings and toppings, as well as some new appetizers like a chili crisp quesadilla, cheeseburger empanadas, crispy brussel sprouts and garlic parmesan fries. The restaurant will also offer a chicken wrap.

In an interview back in December, Local Burger owner Jason Igneri extolled the vibe of the new Easthampton location.

“It seems like a good feel there, a good vibe there, a good community feel there,” Igneri said, of the Eastworks spot. “All the artists there and the residents that they have, it’s just seems like a good fit for us, what we’re all about.”

Igneri told Reminder Publishing that the restaurant has wanted to expand to Easthampton since before the coronavirus pandemic. He said they looked at multiple locations along the way.

“It’s been a long time coming,” he added.

The Easthampton location is open every day except Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saalfrank said the expansive hours are a benefit to the community.

“There aren’t really a lot of restaurants in town that are open daily. I live in town and often find myself struggling to find somewhere to eat around here,” Saalfrank said. “So, with us being open more and longer hours we will be that go-to spot for people who find themselves in the same position I did.”

Saalfrank also praised the location for the amount of space it offers.

“We have so much space to work with, which is a breath of fresh air. Our other two locations in Western Mass. have extremely limited space,” Saalfrank said. “We always made it work, but it is really nice to have some space for us to move around. [It’s] special for us [and] for the community as well, because this building has a lot of history and there is a lot going on in here.”

Igneri said a main goal of his with the new location over the coming months is to expand the customer base he has already developed from the other locations.
“Eastworks feels like it’s a community and we want to try to be a part of that community and help grow there,” he said.

According to Igneri, the other Local Burger locations will continue to remain open.

As for Riff’s Joint, the longtime Easthampton fixture announced in August that they were officially closing for good in September due to what they described as “employee attrition and continued challenges in the restaurant industry in the area of staffing.”

“Over the last 14 years we have had the opportunity to meet and serve so many great people from the surrounding areas and beyond and are truly grateful for the many friendships that have developed and the continued support throughout,” read their Facebook post announcement in August.

The famous restaurant is now operating a food truck with Myers Catering using some of their original menu items.

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