A cult burger bar puts down permanent roots in Busselton, bringing cut-above classics to the masses.
The Burger Bones origin story starts in 2000s London during the midst of a street-food boom. Back then Wayne Cooper, AKA “Coops Deville”, was all about gourmet dogs, going by a different moniker: The Dogfather.
It was that same concept he first considered on his return to the south-west after 20 years away, but frustrated with not being able to recreate kosher dogs to his exacting standards, he flipped into Burger Bones instead.
The legend grew quickly, Cooper first parking his retro caravan on the Busselton foreshore back in 2015, before taking up more permanent digs at The Shed Markets in Vasse. His new permanent home on Queen Street, launched as Covid took hold, has had a slower start, building from a 4-day lunch service. There’s no denying, though, that he’s succeeded in maintaining the feel of the original, cramming character into what’s a prime spot on Busselton’s main strip (take, for example, the wallpaper made from a print of his mum’s CAT scan).
Cooper has maintained the quality, too, the driving force coming from a dedication to the basics of a classic burger. On the menu this translates firstly as the Yellow – a chuck patty with American cheese, dill pickle, tomato, onion, iceberg lettuce and mustard mayo – but there’s also the likes of the Dirt Box, which takes that basic structure and adds maple-bourbon bacon and jalapeños, and the Sauerkraut Royale, which riffs on a NY-style hotdog. (It’s also worth keeping an eye out for off-menu specials – “Cheese Bomb” anyone?)
The driving force comes from a dedication to the basics of a classic burger – a chuck patty with American cheese, dill pickle, tomato, onion, iceberg lettuce and mustard mayo.
Cooper worked closely with his butcher to perfect his patty, made from grass-fed Blackwood Valley chuck. The pigs for the bacon are raised in Jindong, neighbouring his butcher’s property. They’re using a bun fermented for 24 hours for, he says, added strength and to make sure it stands up to being toasted, then steamed under a cloche. This quest for perfection has always added to the wait time. Here it’s speedier thanks to the team around him, but don’t expect to grab and go.
When we talk about destination restaurants we think fine dining, but Burger Bones is more in the tradition of a classic, if quirky, diner – one that’s won a legion of fans, including a chef contingent. A burger detour is much advised.