“I ate burgers every day for six months trying to find the perfect recipe for my burgers.”
Kyle Ellis, 29, is the head chef and owner at Ellis’s. The Standish-street eatery burst onto the scene in 2018 when he turned the former milkshake café into an American style diner, specialising in classic USA inspired food after visiting his auntie in New York and spending holidays in Florida.
What’s on the menu?
If you want a standard burger, this isn’t the place for you.
Ellis’s is for hardcore burger lovers, with many menu items consisting of multiple patties, tonnes of melted cheese and mountains of toppings. Burgers are named after rap songs, milkshakes after cult-classic films and the hotdogs are inspired by street food from across the pond.
Where else could you get the ‘Notorious’ Burger (double cheeseburger, topped with fried halloumi, smoked bacon and lettuce…) and wash it down with a ‘8 Mile’ milkshake, which includes M&M chocolates, whipped cream and a crispy M&M topper?
The USA are known for supersizing their portions, but these mega meals are far better than anything you could get across the pond.
Although people come for the delicious food, they often stay (and keep coming back) for the whole experience. In fact, Kyle has recently won a Burnley Business Award for his contribution to the town!
Inspired by USA themed restaurants such as Reds True Barbecue, Almost Famous and Five Guys, Kyle, 29, wanted to give Burnley a taste of the big city.
“Each burger is customisable. There are 15-20 free toppings that anyone can choose from, so that you get exactly what you want. We pride ourselves on the quality of our food, which is why we tailor our food to each customer.”
The American Dream
So, where exactly did Kyle get the inspiration for his restaurant? Although he gained a degree in PE at the University of Leeds, opening his own restaurant was always the lad’s dream.
“Whenever I go out to eat with my fiancée Roisin, I order a burger even though I cook them all day every day.”
One of the more interesting items on the menu, however, is the Punk Afternoon Tea. Instead of fiddly finger-sandwiches and bitesize biscuits, Ellis’s offering includes burgers, onion rings and a pile of sweets ready to be devoured. The only tea cups you’ll see are holding the dipping sauce trio.
Instagram Worthy Food
Not only has Kyle spent a lot of time and effort in making his food taste delicious, but he wants it to look just as tasty. Served on branded grease-paper and industrial style trays, the food might be the main event but the décor inside Ellis’s is definitely the scene stealer.
As the majority of Ellis’s marketing comes from social media, Kyle understands the importance of creating an atmosphere and a brand that people will want to share.
The custom-made glass top tables are filled with way too many sweets to count. Upstairs, there’s an Instagram-worthy flower wall with neon signs that create the perfect backdrop for the perfect #foodiephoto. There’s a giant burger motif created by Paul Jones from Graffia, who is also the mastermind behind the giant Sean Dyche mural.
“I wanted to put my personality in the place, too. As far as I’m aware, there isn’t anywhere like Ellis’s in the area. I wanted to do something that was really different and create a space where people would enjoy visiting and eating.”
Boasting about Brilliant Burnley
“Burnley is on an upward curve. There are a lot of great businesses that are doing their own thing and all offer something different. I’m passionate about my town because it’s where I’m from, but also because of the people. Everyone is willing to give you a chance and will always support you.”
Although he grew up here, Kyle now commutes to town from Liverpool where he lives with his fiancée. Even though he has the big city on his doorstep, there’s ‘not a chance’ that the entrepreneur would ever move premises.
“Long-term I want to keep expanding and growing our range to include cocktails and a fully licenced bar. I want Ellis’s to be a real food hub in town, but I’ll one 100% always stay in Burnley.”