After a few years of hosting pop-ups and working to perfect his burger recipe, 20-year Dunwoody resident Billy Kramer has opened his first brick-and-mortar restaurant in Dunwoody Village.
NFA Burger opened in December in the Chevron gas station at 5465 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road. “NFA” stands for “not fooling around.”
“The community support has been overwhelming and extremely humbling,” Kramer said. “I know that every burger I sell could be my last and if that’s the case, I want the last burger to be the best burger anyone’s ever had.”
Kramer describes an NFA burger as a classic, smashed, double-stack cheeseburger with house-made seasoning, sauce, pickles and mustard on a potato roll.
“All of the ingredients are available at the store,” Kramer said. “Except for my seasoning.”
Before running NFA full-time, Kramer worked in advertising sales for 20 years. Kramer has conducted many pop-ups; was ranked the 13th best burger at the 2019 World Food Championships held in Dallas, Texas; and participated in Atlanta Magazine’s 2018 Best Burger Battle.
He was also a vendor at the 2019 PGA Tour Championship in Atlanta, where he was nearly struck by lightning on the golf course.
Although he is looking into expansion opportunities, Kramer said he is happy to call Dunwoody Village home.
“While I’m still exploring opportunities in the Old Fourth Ward, Midtown, West Midtown and other metro Atlanta areas, I’d be completely content to just have this one location until I’m ready to retire,” Kramer said.
For more information, visit nfaburger.com.
Q: What made you choose Dunwoody Village as your first brick-and-mortar restaurant?
A: Two weeks before I decided to accept Salim Thobani’s proposal, who owns the Chevron, I was involved in the lightning strike at the 2019 PGA Tour Championship. Something my wife said to me the following week really hit home and made it clear that if I was going to move forward with a permanent location, that I wanted to do it surrounded by friends and family.
Q: How long have you been in the burger business?
A: I’ve been blogging and judging burger contests for almost a decade. About three years ago, followers started asking me how to make a great burger. So I did some research and came up with my favorite burger. Each iteration revolved around the idea of, what if I owned my own place? What if I sold franchises? Would the process be repeatable? Could I make a burger that was consistently great every time? It became a game.
Q: When did you decide to start hosting pop-ups?
A: About two years ago, a friend of mine told me she stopped eating other burgers and just waits until I say I’m testing [and] cooking. It was then that I decided to try my first pop-up. Fortunately, my sales expertise came in handy as I was able to convince the folks at Battle and Brew [a gaming bar located in Sandy Springs] to let me do a pop-up. Since April of 2018, I’ve conducted a few dozen pop-ups. This past summer, the PGA Tour asked me to be a vendor at the Tour Championship. Shortly after the tournament, I signed a lease to open in Dunwoody.
Q: Do you see any potential changes to your restaurant with the proposal to create a special open-container entertainment district in Dunwoody Village?
A: Salim and I have discussed some ideas, but if we do anything, it won’t happen for a while. I will say, having a burger counter inside a place that sells beer and wine can’t be a bad thing should some of the more progressive changes come to fruition.
Q: What has been the best or most rewarding part about opening a brick-and-mortar spot?
A: To date, I think five to six babies have had their first burger at NFA. I’ve had people order burgers for lunch and then stop back on the way home from work for seconds. That being said, the most rewarding part has been the overwhelming support from the community.
Q: When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?
A: Hanging with family, watching sports and game-planning NFA’s future.
Q: What is your secret to the “perfect” burger?
A: The secret is caring. You find someone who cares about the process and you’ll probably find an excellent burger.