By Claire Harlin
A burger eatery that made big waves in Santa Barbara more than 40 years ago is finally hitting San Diego. After success in Carmel Mountain, The Habit has opened in Solana Beach at 909 Lomas Santa Fe Drive and will operate from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays, and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays.
The franchise has been open for less than two weeks, and manager Jose Guerrero said it’s already busier than the Carmel Mountain location, which opened last November.
The week before the store opened there were three soft opening fundraising events, which raised money for the Solana Beach Boys and Girls Club, Duchenne San Diego and Share our Strength. At the Boys and Girls Club event, Guerrero said there was a line out the door.
Guerrero said there are already regulars coming to The Habit up to three times a week.
“They like the environment and the way they are being treated here,” he said. “We also had some really great reviews on Yelp.”
Reviews point out that even the most expensive burger at The Habit is less than $5, and the reviews also say the quality is comparable, if not better, than competing restaurants.
“People compare us to different places, but at the end of the day we’re just different, especially the way we interact with the customer,” said Guerrero. “We don’t try to save a buck over quality. We make sure everyone is well taken care of and at the end of the day it’s the customers who will make us famous or else nobody will know about us.”
What defines The Habit is the charbroil grilling method they employ on their burgers. Their signature items are basic: the char burger and the double char burger. But, in the future, there may be some specials popping up at the shop. For example, in Santa Barbara there is a special burger unique to that area that is popular even though it’s not on the menu. The “Santa Barbara” burger is two patties on sourdough with avocado.
“With the patties cooked on a char broiler, it’s just a different flavor,” said Guerrero. “It’s like doing a charcoal barbecue.”
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