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Umami Burger Corporate Takeover Means Big International Expansion Plans

Ten new locations a year, at home and abroad

Umami Burger
Umami Burger
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Seems like Umami Burger isn’t slowing down any time soon, as Nation’s Restaurant News reports that big new business plans should help them "[evolve] into the next stratosphere."

The big jump comes from partner sbe, who originally took a 50% stake in Adam Fleischman’s burger company back in 2011. The even split allowed Fleischman to continue to help control the company’s growth, which has boomed to 24 domestic units since first opening. But now sbe is taking near-full control by gobbling up 78% of the company, with Fleischman staying on as a board member and retaining his own shares.

Sam Nazarian of sbe says the new majority stake should allow the company to expand rapidly as a separate entity, but with logistical (and location-friendly) backing from the larger sbe network of hotels and other properties. The plan, says Nazarian, is to open about ten new locations per year for the foreseeable future. That includes Japan, where partnership deals are already in place to bring the umami-rich burgers across the ocean.

As for Fleischman, he’s keeping busy enough with plans for a casual Culver City Japanese option called Ramen Roll. That place will take over the shuttered Picnic LA space, and looks to offer a variety of Japanese dishes from chef Kiyoshiro Yamamoto.