Wahlburgers opens in Trumbull
By Sophia KuntharaUpdated
TRUMBULL — Shoppers trickled into the brand new Wahlburgers at Westfield Trumbull Mall on Friday afternoon, stepping up to the counter and settling into the restaurant’s signature bright green chairs.
The Trumbull location is Wahlburgers’ first in Connecticut, and opened its doors without a splashy ribbon cutting, although a future grand opening is anticipated.
This is the 19th Wahlburgers overall, with the star-powered chain spread over 13 other states and into Canada. The company is owned by the Wahlberg brothers — chef Paul Wahlberg and actors Mark and Donnie Wahlberg — although the Trumbull Wahlburgers is franchised to John Sullivan, who did not return calls for comment.
At the mall, Wahlburgers occupies the old Ruby Tuesday’s space, next to Cheesecake Factory. The restaurant is touted as preserving the taste of the family’s Dorchester, Mass., home, and its menu shows which items are their favorites, including floats and frappes.
Apparel and accessories with the restaurant’s logo, or Wahl Gear, are also on sale at the restaurant.
The chain is featured in a TV show by the same name on the A&E network, starring Paul, Mark, Donnie, their mother, Alma, and other members of the family. Recent episodes of “Wahlburgers,” which began in 2014, show Mark Wahlberg attending the grand opening of the Cleveland Wahlburgers and negotiating a deal to have the restaurant in Bass Pro Shop locations.
Mark and Donnie Wahlberg have made their names as entertainers — Mark Wahlberg was Marky Mark, the front man for the hip-hop group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch; Donnie Wahlberg sang in New Kids on the Block — but Paul is a professional chef.
Burgers at the restaurant include ingredients like “Paul’s signature Wahl sauce” and other condiments. Wahlburgers has a franchise fee of $40,000 and a development fee of $10,000 per location, according to the restaurant’s website. The royalty is generally 6 percent of gross sales.
The date of the official grand opening was unclear. Wahlburgers’ corporate center could not be reached for comment.