The Maiden, Fleetwood Mac & Cheese, Back Stage Tenders, Motley Burger, Mosh Salad, and the The Heavy Burger Punks – live in Aventura. The menu reads like a roadies dream and the restaurant experience will take you back to a rock and roll daze. Many guests stop in for the quick half hour lunch, but end up hanging out for an extended intermission while reminiscing about their favorite rock concerts and enjoying one of the best burgers in town. It’s evident the moment you walk in that this joint has something authentic which people appreciate – a love for music and burgers.
Mark Panunzio, in above photo, is the restaurants owner and docent of rock. He guides guests to their seats and chants tales about his unique guitar collection, vinyl, and rock posters hanging from the walls. Panunzio lived a rock and roll life at the University of Florida in the early eighties, where he was the VJ at the famous Island club. “All the bands hit that spot on their way up the east coast. It was an absolutely amazing scene in the 80s,” Panunzio said. His love for the sound of the snare drum and wild metal solos, were only slightly deafened by the sound of the gavel and civil procedures on his road to becoming a successful attorney. During that time the stereo may have been briefly turned down, but not off. Now with this new venture at Heavy Burger, the music feeds the space with Panunzio as resident DJ and VJ. Together with partner Chad Steinberg, a seasoned restaurateur, Heavy Burger is set to have a strong performance in Aventura.
Panunzio, wearing the shades. Steinberg, orchestrates backstage magic.
Panunzio is on a mission to book bands for their regular Thursday night music sessions. They’ve already had local groups like White Noise and Kamelleon hit the stage. Guests love the tunes, but the real attraction is the food. The burgers receive prominent billing on their menu which reads like a rock festival billboard. Most regulars open with the Metal Fries and then headline with The Head Banger. The Head Banger is a 10oz black angus patty, hot wing sauce, blue cheese crumbles, bibb lettuce, sliced tomato, served on a challah roll – ticket price $9.00. They offer the perfect addition to any repertoire, specialty beers – Rogue, Dogfish Head, Spoetzl, and Boulder. The endless set-list of beers and entrees makes Heavy Burger a unique local experience.
Panunzio’s favorite part of the day, he said is “waking up the joint.” He explained, “this means in the morning when nobody is around, I unlock the doors, power up the amps, and crank up the volume. It’s a great way to start the day.” He truly enjoys greeting each guest that walks through the door. The Metal Gods are smiling down on this little niche in Aventura and Heavy Burger is smiling back. If you have a great rock story to share, Panunzio is ready to listen. If you have a craving for an amazing burger, Heavy Burger is ready to fill it.
Get your ticket early, find a good seat, and wear your favorite rock and roll t-shirt. This experience will have you coming back for their regular performances on stage at 19004 NE 29th Ave. Aventura Fl. 33180, seven (7) days a week from 11AM – 10PM.