[Opened June 2013, Closed March 2014]
Poor old Hotwheels. This Americana burger joint has looked ready to open for around six months but the doors are always shut.
We walk past Hotwheels at least five times a week, and every single time we have a glimmer of hope that it will be open. But alas not. There's often people inside working, fixing things or cleaning. For days on end we might only see a piece of deconstructed shop fitting on the floor. Last week we thought we saw a team 'giddyup' meeting. There is always hope, but Hotwheels never opens.
We never really planned on eating there, but the saga is so drawn out we feel sorry for whoever has forked out a fair chunk of money for that faux 1950's diner fitout. Somebody has been paying rent for at least six months too. Would it be a grand a week rent there? $1k x 4 weeks x 6 months = shitloads.
We have no idea what is going on but we can only guess there is some kind of dispute, a soured partnership or a hastily-signed contract can kill a business in a flash. It was comical at first, but now we just feel sorry for whoever is bleeding cash.
The icing on the cake however, (or in American diner talk, the cheese on the apple pie), is that Hotwheels have negative reviews on food review site Urbanspoon before they serve their first burger.
Here's funny, funny review... http://www.utsfoodguide.com.au/
A bit of dough was spent on the fitout. The menu board lists at least 10 types of burgers, cotton candy, fries, pancakes and drinks.
Every day we walk by and hope that this will be the day Hot Wheels Burgers opens. Then we see the chairs are still up on the counter on the window. Maybe tomorrow.
[UPDATED MAY 10 2013...]
We walked past tonight and saw cans of cooking oil on the floor - could this be a sign that Hotwheels will open soon?
...a couple of days later than cans have moved and we see a dude sweeping the floor... but no burger flipping...
20/5/13 - we noticed the chairs usually on the front window counter were down on the floor and there was a bunch of folks inside that looked like staff...
13/6/13 - we've seen folks in there over the last weeks, and equipment in various states of array on the floor. We believe the place isn't a bikie front, but it's run by lizards.
When it does finally open, Hotwheels Burgers is at 165 Broadway, Ultimo.
24/6/13 - my god, it was actually open tonight. We've seen a couple of staff training nights and what looked like a soft opening for friends, but today it really looked open. Well that takes the fun out of it...
[UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2013]
Folks have written some pretty negative stuff about Hot Wheels on the net but it's OK, nothing amazing but we'd stop by again if we got burger cravings in Broadway.
Monster Wheel burger with chippies and a drink, about $12.90. We are more fans of the old school Aussie burger with beetroot so we're not good judges of the Gen Y burger. But this tastes OK to us, the patty isn't exciting but the fixin's are fresh. We got the same sort of vibe from a Moo burger. Crinkle cut chips divide the nation but we're on the 'pro' side, we love 'em.
Mexican wheel - or something like that - about $8.50. Kind of like a cheeseburger with some taco sauce or something. The taco sauce or something is dang nice, even has a little chili kick.