There’s excitement in Peru about the new Wahlburgers restaurant that opened Tuesday in Hy-Vee.
Wahlburgers opened to the public Tuesday following its grand opening celebration. The chain restaurant owned by Mark, Donnie and Paul Wahlberg within the Hy-Vee grocery store now will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Peru Hy-Vee Store Manager Andrew Cochran said the community response both from Monday’s exclusive trail run to Tuesday opening has been nothing but positive.
“We sent out 300 invites for an event (Monday) where we did a test run for lunch and dinner,” Cochran said. “I was here for both of them. I’ll tell you that all the comments were good and hopefully people come on out and eat.”
The restaurant will function in conjunction with many food court items Hy-Vee customers are accustomed to.
Those looking to grab a Wahlburger will order from the counter outside of the seating area and receive a number before finding their seat. Their order will then be brought to them once it is prepared.
“The format won’t affect any of our other food options,” Cochran said. “You can still grab Chinese and pay for it and eat it here. You can still have a drink at the bar or anything else you’d like.”
Cochran said Hy-Vee was proud to have the additional option of Wahlburgers while still being able to provide the food options it previously had.
“This creates one more option and it doesn’t eliminate any options,” Cochran said. “We are still going to serve breakfast from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day. You can come in and order breakfast that way. It’s kind of like the food hall concept where you can come in and enjoy whatever you want.”
Tuesday’s grand opening marked the first time Illinois Valley residents could get a taste of the new menu from the burger joint opened by the Wahlberg brothers.
Mark has become a world-renowned actor starring in many feature films in his career while Donnie was a founding member of the popular boy band New Kids on the Block and also went on to become a well-known actor and producer.
Paul became a chef who teamed up with his brothers to open the first Wahlburgers in 2011. The company then entered into a partnership with Hy-Vee in 2018 to open more than 20 locations within the grocery store chain.
Wahlburgers has since grown to include more than 50 locations both independent and in partnership with Hy-Vee.
Cochran, who worked at the Bloomington Hy-Vee location during its opening of the Wahlburgers restaurant, said in his experiences the transitions have been smooth and most importantly the community seems to enjoy the food.
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