Burger King is set to open its first Whopper Bar in Orlando, FL in February, the Wall Street Journal is reporting (subscription required). The new joints take a page from the Starbucks playbook, with open kitchens and rounded counters that can fit into any nook and cranny in airports and other busy places with plenty of foot traffic. The first one is slated for the Universal Orlando Resort.
The company first floated the concept in March, and now plans to open six to 20 of these in the next year or so. The menu focus will be squarely on the Whopper, with different variations available (like the British "Angry Whopper" version with spicy onions), and there may also be beer on tap at international locations. The Wall Street Journal also mentions that prices may be higher than at a regular Burger King, because rents are higher.
Foodies will, of course, shudder. Open kitchens cooking flame-broiled Whoppers may cause some environmental concerns -- at the very least in terms of odors. And these are still high-calorie Whoppers we are talking about, and while the new sites may serve salads, the emphasis is on items like the Rodeo Whopper, which pairs the burger with BBQ sauce and onion rings. Combine that with higher prices, and you have a recipe for potential gastronomic disaster.