It may be their birthday, but Easey’s will be doing the gift-giving.
If you’ve ever found yourself on Easey Street, you’ve likely marvelled at the towering trains which teeter on the rooftop of Collingwood burger institution, Easey’s.
Serving burgers and beer five stories high in graffiti-covered Hitachi train carriages overlooking the city skyline, Easey’s is much more than a burger joint, it’s a culmination of Melbourne’s key elements; food, drink, art, music, transport and people.
The brainchild of bonafide burger aficionado Jimmy Hurlston, beatsmith Phil Martin – aka DJ (FLIP3K) – and street artist Jeremy Gaschk, it’s no wonder the eatery offers such a vibrant reflection of Melbourne’s cultural offerings.
While they’ve all done their own legwork in the hospitality industry, the three mates also each bring something entirely different to the table. Gaschk’s reputation in the street art world is reflected by the ever-changing exhibits and installations adorning the carriage and building walls, showcasing some of the best graffiti artists from around the world.
View this post on Instagram
As for Martin, he may have left the music industry to pursue this foodie venture, though his years as an internationally renowned DJ means the venue is constantly filled with the hottest new and classic beats.
And Hurlston? Burgers are just his thing. Before opening Easey’s, he travelled the world reviewing burgers in search of the perfect burger, documenting his quest on his blog, Jimmy’s Burgers.
“I have always loved burgers. When I was a kid, my father and I used to eat them when we had been fishing,” says Hurlston. “I then worked for a well known family restaurant as a teenager and this fuelled the love even more.
“I think a burger is the perfect balanced meal that is delivered in a practical, handheld manner. What more could you ask for?”
The food at Easey’s is a celebration of Australiana while taking inspiration from American burgers and sandwiches. Finding innovative ways to test the boundaries of comfort food, their menu ranges from the classics, including a cheeseburger and southern fried chicken sandwich, to offerings like the Melbourne Madness which boasts two smashed patties, bacon, jalapenos, potato cake, dim sims and pickles.
This month marks five years since the three mates opened their doors on Easey Street and while COVID-19 restrictions have quashed the birthday celebrations they had in mind – for now, at least – they still wanted to find a way to thank their customers and the community for their ongoing support.
So, Easey’s have teamed up with delivery service DoorDash for an epic two-week giveaway which could earn you a year of free burgers. In addition to the mouth-watering grand prize, there are also two Easey’s merch packs, worth $125 each, and five $100 DoorDash vouchers up for grabs.
And as an extra special treat to celebrate National Burger Day on May 28, the crew are giving away two exclusive Make Your Own Easey’s Burger Packs for those who want to experiment with crafting their own Easey’s burgers at home.
“We definitely did have some crazy plans for our fifth birthday and we hope to resurrect some form of in-person celebration once restrictions ease,” says Hurlston. “For now, we have decided to celebrate in this much safer way!”
While the restrictions have been tough on the hospitality industry, Hurlston is grateful that Easey’s was already accustomed to a high volume of on-the-go and delivery orders, which made the transition to a takeaway only model much less challenging.
“Our customers have been incredible. So many locals have come in to collect food. Some customers have even driven from all over Victoria to get some of that Easey’s goodness,” he says.
“We definitely want to say thank you to all of our amazing customers who have supported us over the years and, more recently, who have supported us through COVID-19. We couldn’t have done it without them.”
The temporary ban on dining in has led to several vendors calling out delivery services like Uber Eats and Deliveroo for taking advantage of businesses during this difficult period, though Hurlston explains that the crew at Easey’s chose to team up with DoorDash for their competition as it’s the only platform that has supported businesses amidst the restrictions.
“Many people have avoided delivery services for a long time,” he says. “When COVID-19 hit they have been forced to join up. DoorDash is the only delivery service that has come to the party on commission fees.”
Despite Premier Dan Andrews’ recent announcement that restaurants and cafes will be allowed to reopen to the public next month in a limited capacity, there are still some logistics to consider before Easey’s fling their doors open.
“We are still waiting on some clarifications on what’s going to be allowed. We have multiple ‘enclosed spaces’, so we are hoping that the five levels of our building might come in handy,” explains Hurlston.
In the meantime, the Easey’s crew are just happy to be celebrating five incredible years and, if a global pandemic can’t shake them, there’s a very good chance it’s the first of many milestones they’ll be seeing.
Never miss a story. Sign up to Beat’s newsletter and you’ll be served fresh music, arts, food and culture stories five times a week.