Benjamin Franklin once said that the only two certainties in life are death and taxes. You could probably throw competition between restaurants and bars in that mix, too.
While there will always be intense competition between food and drink establishments, it’s refreshing to hear of the camaraderie between Basement Burger Bar and Farmington Brewing Company in downtown Farmington, Michigan.
Located just a few doors down from each other, these local businesses have teamed up to succeed.
Basement Burger Bar opened in March 2010 and was first of the two businesses on the block. It boasts a build-your-own menu with a plethora of decadent toppings. You can create anything from a basic cheeseburger to an insane burger that will make you wish you wore a bib. You can top your burger with everything from mozzarella sticks to sautéed mushrooms, pickles to grilled pineapple, and beyond.
Farmington Brewing Company opened in November 2014 and has quickly built a loyal following. Their cozy taproom is a great addition to Farmington, helping put the small downtown area on the craft beer map.
Seeing the potential for the businesses to work together — what better combination is there than burgers and beer? — Jamil Azar, owner of Basement Burger Bar, approached Jason Hendricks, Jason Schlaff, and Gary Schlaff of Farmington Brewing.
At first, the guys at Farmington Brewing were unsure of the intentions behind Azar’s hospitality. After all, it may appear that the two businesses would be fighting over the same customers.
The brewers soon realized the opportunity to partner with Basement Burger Bar to make downtown Farmington a destination, benefiting the entire business community.
Beside some locally made snacks, Farmington Brewing doesn’t offer food to wash down their great brews, so Basement Burger Bar frequently delivers their decadent burgers to the brewery to satisfy patrons.
Basement Burger Bar keeps Farmington Brewing Company’s beer on tap to compliment their bonanza of burgers. In fact, they purchase 7% of Farmington Brewing’s total output and they’re the number one distribution customer.
The cooperation and partnership has worked out well for both businesses.
Basement Burger Bar eventually expanded to a second location in Canton that is, ironically enough, not located in a basement. A third location is due at 1326 Brush Street in Detroit in 2016. The forthcoming Detroit location will feature 20 taps and all of the burgers and FBC beer that customers know and love, but with some surprises mixed in.
Farmington Brewing Company is on the cusp of their first anniversary and has a three day extravaganza brewed up. November 13, 14, and 15 will see releases of their Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Porter, Belgian Trippel, and Raspberry Imperial Stout, respectively. Saturday the 14th will feature a pig roast with pigs raised on grains used during their brewing process. Michigan-made Barlow’s Gourmet Sauces will be on hand for the roast.
Both parties agree that working together to make downtown Farmington a drinking and dining destination is a good thing for everyone. It encourages locals to visit both establishments and other local businesses. It also encourages folks in nearby communities to make an evening of it.
Now that’s worth toasting to.