The dim lights of Revery VR Bar act as a sort of beacon on Monroe Drive for those seeking a virtual reality experience with cocktails. But Revery is also home to a takeout gem called Heartbreakers tucked away behind the building, and it’s slinging LA-style smash burgers starting at 9 p.m., right as those after-hours food cravings start kicking in at night.
Revery VR Bar owner Vincent Wynn II never imagined his story would lead him from working in a clothing store to working as a bartender to owning his own bar. He began formulating the idea behind Revery while working behind the bar owned by his future business partners. Wynn wanted to open an Atlanta bar where people could socialize over cocktails while playing games beyond the standards like pool and darts.
In 2017, Revery VR Bar opened on the southern end of Monroe Drive near Ponce de Leon Avenue becoming the first virtual reality cocktail bar in the nation, according to Wynn. To generate more business for Revery, Wynn books DJs to encourage dancing at the bar. While Revery does serve some snacks, the menu isn’t enough to keep people continually engaged in their virtual reality games as the evening wears on, or attract people to the bar for late-night bites.
Inspired by places like LA smash burger sensation Burgers Never Say Die, Wynn founded Heartbreakers burger truck — a nod to the 2001 film of the same name and his love for cheesy rom-coms and teen comedy movies. In fact, burgers on the menu are named after rom-com characters such as the Ronald Miller from the 1987 movie “Can’t Buy Me Love”. It’s a double stack topped with American cheese, pickles, diced onions, and ketchup and mustard. Fries are available, too, tossed in Cajun, salt and pepper, or lemon pepper seasoning.
Heartbreakers didn’t come to life overnight. Wynn spent months researching and testing burger recipes at home, including balancing beef fat ratios and trying out different burger buns. He then collaborated with a friend to optimize Heartbreakers’ burgers for quick service. Serving burgers fast and efficiently are necessities when dealing with hungry late-night crowds. The result is a smash burger with an 80/20 chuck blend that delivers a satisfying “slap” when it hits the hot plancha (Spanish flat-top griddle), searing the outside of the patty and locking in the flavor. It’s topped with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, and an aioli sauce with a subtle garlic kick.
What sets Heartbreakers apart, according to regulars, is the feeling of home-cooked comfort. It’s neither an overwrought gourmet burger nor a simple grilled patty between buns. Heartbreakers serves an ambrosial smash burger that strikes a good balance between both. This includes the truck’s vegan smash burger, which comes topped with a non-dairy-based sauce.
Heartbreakers opens at 9 p.m. and doesn’t stop serving until 2:45 a.m., giving people one more chance to grab a burger before heading home for the night.
The smash burgers at Heartbreakers shouldn’t leave you “feeling bogged down” like a gut bomb, says Wynn, but rather give you that satisfying feeling of nostalgia from watching your favorite rom-com or teen comedy movie.
Wynn’s ultimate goal is to eventually open Heartbreakers as a restaurant in Atlanta. The positive feedback he’s already received from patrons of the burger truck at Revery has given Wynn confidence a permanent location with a few bar stools and late-night hours could work, especially given that some people stop by Revery just for burgers at Heartbreakers.
The real temptation lies in trying not to order a second burger for later.
Heartbreakers Burgers, Wednesday - Saturday, 9 p.m. to 2:45 a.m.
Revery VR Bar, 728 Monroe Drive, Atlanta. reveryvrbar.com.