After opening in Dunwoody in December, NFA Burger was forced to temporarily shut down this week due to a permitting issue, according to a February 19 post on the burger joint’s Facebook page. The popular burger pop-up turned wildly successful counter restaurant resides inside a Chevron market on Chamblee Dunwoody Road.
Owner Billy Kramer tells Eater Atlanta he hopes to reopen by the end of next week and get his employees back to work as soon as possible.
Kramer indicates in the post that he was allegedly given “incorrect information by a state agency” in regards to NFA’s operating permit. Once he became aware of the issue, Kramer says he began “proceedings to secure the correct permit” and was given permission for NFA to continue operating while the permitting is resolved.
“Based on conversations with people at multiple agencies, I was led to believe I could operate under the food permit the Chevron had been operating under for the past year,” Kramer tells Eater in an email. “This past Tuesday morning, a person from a state agency stopped by and told me that wasn’t the case.”
Kramer says the person called a supervisor while standing at NFA Burger and suggested he be given 15 days to resolve the permitting. That supervisor apparently gave their verbal approval and the agency person present at the restaurant provided a written report for Kramer to sign, which states, ”Mr. kramer was given 15 days to obtain a license.”
“Immediately after the person left [on February 18],” he says. “I called a consultant and hired them to initiate the permitting process.”
He says the supervisor visited the restaurant later in the day, who told Kramer “people at the highest levels” were working to resolve the permitting as quickly as possible. However, 24 hours later, Kramer was told by another agency to shut down NFA Burger until the proper permit is obtained. He complied immediately.
Kramer feels he was “lied to” by the agencies involved, which he does not name in the post and declined to provide the names of to Eater, but says the city of Dunwoody is not responsible for NFA’s permitting problem.
“It has come to my attention that some people at one of the agencies believe I should have been given the 15 days and that it might be possible to reopen conditionally.”
During NFA’s temporary shut down, Kramer plans to install a second grill in order to “speed up the process” at the counter restaurant. It’s not unusual for NFA to see long lines for one of Kramer’s burgers, which includes the pop-up’s classic double and triple cheeseburgers as well as the monstrous quad burger. All are topped with American cheese, pickles, mustard, and Kramer’s sweet and salty “sassy” sauce.
Kramer began popping up with his burgers three years ago at restaurants like Hampton and Hudson in Inman Park, Galla’s pizza in Chamblee, and the cafe at Old Fourth Ward cycling shop the Spindle. He quickly amassed a loyal following of burger enthusiasts. Kramer started looking for a permanent location for NFA last year and came close to deals in Midtown and Old Fourth Ward. He ultimately landed in Dunwoody, where he has lived for 20 years, to be closer to home and his family.
Update, February 21, 11:30 a.m.: This story has been updated with new information regarding the permitting problem timeline of events and details provided by owner Billy Kramer.
5465 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. nfaburger.com.