Sugar Shack may only have been around since 2013, but over those five years it has become a Richmond staple for donuts and fresh coffee. And as of this week, it’s also the supplier of the brand new selection of burgers, fries and shakes from the region. On March 26, Luther Burger, attached to the Huguenot Road sugar shack in Chesterfield, officially opened.
Sugar Shack and Luther Burger owner Ian Kelley took inspiration from his favorite restaurant in St. Petersburg, Florida: Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish, a no-frills, cash-only spot near the water that serves homemade smoked fish, burgers and beer.
“This is the best and easiest hamburger ever,” says Kelley. “Now that I have kids, I don’t have as much of an opportunity to go there, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to bring back some of my childhood sweetheart locally.”
The menu is simple: plancha mashed burgers in beef, turkey, crab, and vegan varieties, along with waffle fries, milkshakes, soda, and beer. Each burger is served with lettuce, tomato, onion, classic burger sauce with ketchup and mayo and cheese. The hot and crispy waffle fries are available with a thick layer of seasonings like sea salt, white cheddar, garlic parmesan, buffalo, old bay, jalapeño and, for those who are attracted to it. by the heat, the home-made ‘dragon’s breath’, a spicy Thai flavored dish. A few pickle chips and a bowl of Luther sauce, a tangy dill-based aioli for dipping, are also served by longtime manager and Sugar Shacker James Henderson. Lettuce wraps are available on request for a gluten-free option, and vegans will be delighted to find dairy-free cheese, burger sauce and milkshakes on the menu, in addition to Impossible Burger made from wheat and potatoes.
The shakes, which Henderson says all have a vanilla ice cream base, are thick enough to warrant a straw as big as your thumb. There are 17 flavors available, including classics like Chocolate, Strawberry, Oreo, and Coffee, as well as Taro, Chai, Pistachio, Lavender, and Birthday Cake. And if you can’t make up your mind, they will be happy to combine the flavors for a personalized shake.
If you’re feeling particularly indulgent, go ahead and Luther this burger: order it stacked between two sugar shack donuts instead of a bun.
Henderson says Luther’s original burger includes two frozen donuts, but there’s no limit to the donut and burger combos they’ll whip up for you. His favorite, he said, was a burger with two maple and bacon donuts. Sprinkles, powdered sugar, or chocolate with grated coconut might not be the first flavor combinations that come to mind when you think of burgers, but hey, no judgment here.
“I’ll do whatever the customer wants,” says Henderson.
Guests are welcome to have their meals inside the Sugar Shack, but anyone ordering a beer should stay in the area near the Luther Burger counter or outside in one of the patio gazebos.
As for future iterations of Luther Burger, Kelley says the soon to be opening sugar shack in Charlottesville will have one attached to it, and other locations may be on the horizon as well. So far, he says, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
“We keep developing and learning as we go, but we’ve seen some of the same faces three days in a row and a few twice a day,” Kelley says. “Right now we’re just trying to keep our heads above water with how busy this has been.”
Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
1931 Chemin Huguenot, Bon Air