You might know Fort Street as a low rent, downtown street where the air smells of stale urine and sleazy brothels market their product with creative signs like "spray and walk away". All of this has changed, the grime is gone or going (from the top end at least) and Velvet Burger has moved in to feed the new crowd. Corporate lunchers by day, afterwork drinkers in the evening all the way through to late night chargers in the small hours.
Velvet Burger, nestled under its sister Fort Street Union, offers one of the first premium offerings that is slowly being introduced to the Fort Street district. It offers a comprehensive menu of gourmet burgers and is fully licensed.
"Making a great burger is like making love to a woman" Velvet Burger visionary and co-owner George Eason explains to me. "Everybody thinks they are good at it but really not many people are". I thought this was a strange thing to say but after sampling several of his burgers it's clear that George applies this type of considered analysis to the way he runs his restaurant.
The place is a cut above, best value burgers, a range of wine and beer (including a remarkable 440ml Double Brown can and Big Bots), and laid back, young and energetic staff who know their burgers. While the menu provides light-hearted descriptions to the burgers with names such as Big Bird (This one used to be made from Moa which was a big bird, but we ran out of them a few years back), Big Bro (I guess if we had a Kiwi Burger this would be it), Hottie, and the Hangover Cure, don't be fooled into thinking there is no serious effort and research done by the team at Velvet Burger to ensure that you will witness one of the best burger experiences in town.