Restaurant News

Adelaide’s Burger Theory is closing its Union Street store

After six years, the founders of the controversial kangaroo burger are calling time on the CBD outlet.

By Yvonne C Lam
Dan Mendelson at Burger Theory on Union St, Adelaide
Adelaide's Burger Theory, home of the kangaroo burger, is closing its flagship CBD stores. Its final day of trade is expected to be this weekend.
In a Facebook post last Thursday, its owners conceded that it's been a "rough and tumble few weeks/months/years" at the diner. "It does look like we're coming into the finishing stretch at Union Street," the post said.
Last year, Burger Theory co-founder Dan Mendelson and Robert Dean switched out the beef, chicken and pork in their burgers for kangaroo leg meat. It was an environmental and financial decision: kangaroo is more sustainable as the animals are hunted in the wild, and is ultimately cheaper to source.
When Gourmet Traveller visited last year, we rated the burgers as on par with those served at Mary's or Bar Luca in Sydney or Huxtaburger in Melbourne.

But the shift to the kangaroo-burger menu drew a lot of very negative comments on social media, ranging from concerns for animal welfare to issues of nationalism, hygiene and food safety. The idea that kangaroo meat is fit only to feed pets appeared more than once.
Despite the online criticism, Mendelson and Dean stuck to their guns. "Our falafel patty has a higher carbon footprint than the 'roo patty," said Dean. "Someone is growing and harvesting the chickpeas on land, whereas everything we're getting for the red-meat burger already exists."
And the cheaper cost was passed to the customer, too. Burger Theory's original beef burgers cost between $10 and $14, while the kangaroo burgers are priced at $7.80.

But a year on, the online hate continues. "Kangaroo burgers, seriously," wrote one user in response to Burger Theory's announcement of its CBD closure on Facebook. "Honestly what did you expect," wrote another.
However, many were saddened by the announcement and credited the company for kickstarting the burger scene in Adelaide. Others commended its sustainable ethos, and claimed they became regular customers after the introduction of the kangaroo burgers.
Burger Theory Union Street, which opened in 2013, is expected to trade until Saturday. However, the burgers are still available at its second location in Flinders University which remains open.
Burger Theory Union Street, 8-10 Union Street, Adelaide, SA
Burger Theory Flinders Tavern, Level 1, The Hub, Flinders University, Sturt Road, Bedford Park, SA, 0426 731 860, burgertheory.com