At Glenn Square, new restaurant banks on Mountain View growth

Kriner’s Burgers and Pies, Mountain View’s newest eatery, has been under construction in Andy Kriner’s mind for a while now.

“I’ve been building this in my head for four years, probably,” he said. “I have always wanted a hamburger place.”

At Glenn Square, he said he thinks he’s found the perfect fit.

The rent is reasonable. There’s plenty of visibility from the highway. Kriner called it a beautiful mall that reminds him of Arizona. Combine those factors with friendly service and one of the best burgers in town, and he thinks he’s found a recipe for success.

“It seems like there’s been a lot of improvement to the Mountain View area in the last few years,” said Kriner, who made the decision to settle down in Glenn Square after originally pursuing a lease in another part of town. “I think, in the next 10 years — it’s like an up-and-coming area. I can sense that.”

Set to open later this fall, Kriner’s Burgers and Pies is different than other local burger restaurants.

Kriner said his newest establishment combines a casual, make-your-own burger concept with quality, locally sourced ingredients. The buns are baked here in town, the burgers are hand-pressed and specially seasoned, the fries are hand-cut and the dressings and sauces are all homemade. There won’t be paper plates or plastic utensils.

“Chain restaurants can’t really do that type of thing,” Kriner said. “I’m small enough where I still can.”

Diners will be able to customize their plain patties with about 15 different toppings or order the signature Andy’s Awesome Burger, smothered with jalapeno cheese, onion strings, bacon and barbecue sauce. Kriner said he already sells about 10,000 Awesome Burgers annually from his popular diner on C Street. The parking lot at Kriner’s Diner is usually packed, and its owner said he hopes to draw the same crowd to his latest venture.

At Glenn Square, Kriner’s Burgers and Pies is outfitted with blue and white tiled floors, plenty of natural light from its east-facing windows, high ceilings with exposed pipes and an open kitchen. Monday, the space was bare — Kriner is still in the process of unwrapping furniture and assembling equipment in an empty storefront that doubles as a staging area next door.

Once he sets up the tables and chairs in his new restaurant, Kriner said he plans on hiring about 20 new employees. His son will take over the role of general manager, he said, and interviews with potential hires are set to take place Sept. 6 from 12-4 p.m.

There’ve been some doubts about the location – the new restaurant is surrounded by more than a few vacant spaces and the mall isn’t immediately accessible from the Glenn Highway. Kriner’s not worried.

“That’s what everybody told me about my current location (on C Street),” he said. “Everybody told me that it had had four failed restaurants and it was a horrible location. I kind of specialize in lousy locations.”

Kriner said he believes good food and good service trump everything else, and he feels confident about the growth he’s seen in the neighborhood.

Besides the recent addition of the Bass Pro Shops Outpost across the parking lot, Kriner spoke highly of Xalos Mexican Grill, which serves up lunch and dinner to rave reviews a few storefronts away from his own restaurant. He said he doesn’t see it as competition.

When good food draws more people to Mountain View, he said, everybody wins.

“I get really good vibes from this area,” he said. “The people are really nice.”

Andy Kriner

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