BANGOR, Maine — Hollywood Casino announced on Tuesday plans to open a new restaurant in July, one that will challenge patrons to eat a 2-pound cheeseburger topped with half a pound of bacon, six slices of cheese, a whole sliced tomato and half a head of lettuce.
The restaurant will be called Celebrity Bar & Grill, in keeping with the theme of the casino. It will have an American bar and grill-style fare, including burgers, wings, steak and pasta, but it also will offer a line of beers and signature drinks and feature a bank of televisions for watching sporting events.
Included on the menu will be the “Paul Bunyan Challenge” burger. The mound of meat and cheese on a house-baked roll will be accompanied by a pound of fries. Anyone who manages to eat it all in an hour or less gets the meal for free, a T-shirt commemorating the accomplishment and his or her picture on a “wall of fame,” not to mention “bragging rights,” according to the casino.
“It’s a neat challenge,” casino General Manager Jose Flores said Tuesday. “We do it at a few of our sports bars across the enterprise.”
For example, the Skybox Sports Bar at Hollywood Casino in Charles Town, West Virginia, carries a similar burger called The BEAST. The record for consuming that feast was about 11 minutes, according to Flores.
More often, two or three people will purchase the burger to share around the table.
Flores said he hopes the restaurant will drive more visitors to the casino. The addition also is aimed at pleasing casino patrons who requested an alternative to the all-you-can-eat buffet.
The casino’s buffet will still be operational, but it likely will hold most of its hours during the weekend and then shut down midweek, Flores said. During the middle part of the week, the buffett doesn’t see enough traffic to warrant keeping it open.
“It needs volume in order to be efficient and so that the food that’s out there stays fresh,” Flores said.
The restaurant opening in early July will mean 28 new culinary and service positions at the casino. Casino officials expect the hiring process to begin soon. Application information will be posted at hollywoodcasinobangor.com.
Construction has already started.
“It’s nice to add to the local dining scene. I see a lot of neat restaurant concepts in the area, so we want to add to that,” Flores said.
Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter @nmccrea213