A double cheeseburger and fries at Gimme Burger in Oyster...

A double cheeseburger and fries at Gimme Burger in Oyster Bay. Credit: Newsday

Maxine Nightingale’s “Right Back Where We Started From” is playing as the door opens to Gimme Burger, Oyster Bay’s new spot from Jesse Schenker, the chef behind fine dining establishments 2 Spring Street and Four, just down the block. The vibe is throwback '70s, decorated with movie posters from "Jaws," "Rocky," and "Psycho," alongside another of Farrah Fawcett. The record changes to Stevie Nicks and Don Henley’s “Leather and Lace” as we step up to order at the service window.

There are only five sandwiches to choose from — a hamburger, a cheeseburger, a crispy chicken sandwich, a grilled cheese (served creatively on inverted burger buns), and a veggie burger. Fries, shakes, soda, wine from The Pinot Project and cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon round out the menu.

The burgers, which can be ordered as singles ($6.95) or doubles ($8.75), are a plump 4-ounce custom blend of chuck, brisket, and short rib and ground in-house daily. They are perfectly cooked, pink in the middle, and sit atop fresh, fluffy, housemade buns sprinkled with black and white sesame seeds, and garnished with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and special sauce. Portions of fries ($3.95) are generous. Plastic squeeze bottles of ketchup and mustard wait on tables accented by red metal chairs.

This is Schenker’s first foray into fast casual, but as he explains, “Gimme Burger sort of already existed.” The concept began during COVID as Spring Street To Go, an online take-out business working out of the basement of 2 Spring. That menu comprised comfort staples and sandwiches that locals could count on as COVID progressed. Mike and Claudia Taglich, Schenker’s friends and partners in his other restaurants, had been listening to him “throw around the idea of opening a burger spot for a while,” but the idea took off when Schenker and Mike’s dad, Nick — a former Northport butcher — got together and started talking about blends, cuts, grinding, and other meat-centric topics.

He kept walking past the space at 39 East Main Street, which had sat empty through much of the pandemic, and it seemed an obvious location. The inside offered enough space for some seating, some board games, a pass-through kitchen window, and a vintage Miss Pac-Man machine. With its white picket fence and ample front lawn, spring and summer seem prime for hanging out.

Like the décor, everything at Gimme Burger is simple but thoughtful. Schenker is known for his attention to technique and product and “here, it’s no different,” he says. Everything on the menu is also under $10. He wanted to “make this new spot affordable to the community as well as embrace the old school burger joint.” 

Gimme Burger, 39 E. Main St., Oyster Bay, 516-922-3200; Open Sunday-hursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; gimmeburger.com

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