Should fast food joints offer beer and wine?

burgers, fries, and wine?
burgers, fries, and wine?

Burgerville is a quirky Pacific Northwest-style fast food institution. Where else but in Portland, Oregon (and nearby suburbs) could you find a fast food joint whose regular salad options included one with local hazelnuts and crumbles from a world-renowned smoky blue cheese? The chain also is known for its use of local, range-grown beef, its seasonal food options -- it only offers onion rings in Walla Walla sweet onion season, for instance -- and all its old fryer oil is picked up for conversion into biodiesel.

The latest salvo in the burger war is another local offering (slow foodies rejoice!) but is even more unconventional: beer and wine. The chain is in the application process to get a liquor license to serve local beers and wines at its Salmon Creek concept restaurant in Vancouver, Washington. As more fast food chains branch out to compete with a range of other food service businesses; from McDonald's Corp. (MCD) McCafe concept going head-to-head with Starbucks, Burger King's (BKC) Whopper Bar challenging Subway, and more; will wine and beer be the next step?

Originally published