Becoming A Burger Destination

Lines circle the Chevron station that NFA Burger calls home in Dunwoody, Georgia.

June 11, 2024

There’s a gas station hamburger in Dunwoody, Georgia, that is getting a lot of attention. From regional media coverage to features in national magazines like Southern Living and Food and Wine magazine—which dubbed it the best burger in the state—NFA Burger is sizzlin’ in the spotlight.

Owner Billy Kramer’s story is inspirational. After growing tired and burnt out from his career in advertising, he started wondering if he could create a great version of a classic food everyone loves—a burger.

“It started out as stress relief for work … kind of a game in my head … could I make a perfect burger?” he said. “If I could make the perfect burger for my family, could I do it again for my friends? If I owned my own restaurant, could I do it over and over everyday? Just how high of a bar could I leap over?”

With that in mind, Kramer started watching videos, reading articles, buying cook books and “speaking with any cook or chef that would let me in their kitchen,” he said. “Every time I made a new batch of seasoning, I called my friends and they sprinted over for another taste test. One day, my friend Jeff told me that his wife, Caryn, would only eat my burger. That was a huge compliment.”

Kramer finally thought he was on to something. He started looking for restaurants where he could do pop up events for his burger, doing the first one in the spring of 2018.

“Pretty soon, I was building a solid reputation in Atlanta,” he said.

From Pop-Up to Permanent

Oftentimes, the pairing of great food and gas stations is just meant to be.

“I reached out to Salim Thobani, the owner of a Chevron gas station near my house,” said Kramer. Within a few days, Thobani’s son visited one of Kramer’s pop ups, and “wound up telling his dad it was one of the best burgers he had ever had. Within three months, Thobani offered me the cafe space in his Dunwoody Chevron. He gave a guy with no restaurant experience a kitchen,” he recalled.

And thus, NFA Burger was born. What does NFA stand for? Not Fooling Around, and Kramer means it. He opened NFA on December 3, 2019, and on the store’s first day he made three burgers. By day five, he had a line around the store.

“It’s been a good partnership. Thobani is not your typical landlord. When Covid hit on March 14, 2020, he called and said ‘Billy, do whatever you need to do.’ We only closed for three hours,” Kramer said.

The Chevron c-store and NFA naturally complement each other. The c-store sells drinks and it benefits from the long line of customers around the store.

To continue reading, check out the June issue of NACS Magazine.

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