Wahlburgers, Arby’s and more: These new restaurants are opening at military exchanges in Europe
By CHAD GARLAND | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 17, 2019
Wahlburgers, a fast-casual burger chain founded by a trio of brothers from Boston, is among the eateries slated to open at military exchanges in Europe in the coming months, along with pizza, barbecue and chicken stands.
The brainchild of chef Paul Wahlberg with celebrity brothers Mark and Donnie, Wahlburgers is scheduled to open in January at the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, said Chris Ward, an Army and Air Force Exchange Service spokesman.
Renovations are already underway for a Boston Market, which Ward said will also open in the KMCC food court in November. Burger King is expected to reopen on-base in late 2021, along with an Arby’s, about four years after a previous Burger King burned down.
The combined Burger King and Arby’s will share a freestanding building and both will have drive-thru windows.
Wahlburgers is a relatively new option for on-base dining. AAFES and the restaurant chain last year announced plans to open a first location at Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord in spring 2020.
Possible Wahlburgers locations at the exchanges in Grafenwoehr, Germany, and Fort Bragg, N.C., are under discussion, but no final decisions had been made, Ward said Wednesday.
The Massachusetts natives, from a family of nine kids, opened their first restaurant location in Hingham, Mass., south of Boston, in 2011 and have since expanded to more than two dozen spots across North America.
Donnie and Mark Wahlberg, who rose to stardom in the 80s and 90s as pop music stars, are perhaps better known for their film careers, which include several military and police roles.
The Wahlburgers menu includes burgers, beef hot dogs, crispy fries, onion rings, tater tots, salads, frappes, beers and cocktails, as well as chicken, fish and a plant-based sandwich known as “The Impossible Burger,” the company website says.
AAFES also expects to open several “quick-serve” restaurants in Express convenience stores on bases throughout Europe through spring 2020.
Baumholder and Spangdahlem Expresses are scheduled to get Austin Blues barbecue stands in August and September, respectively. The grab-and-go stand offers slow-smoked, Texas-style items like pulled pork, brisket and ribs.
Hunt Brothers Pizza is slated to open at Stuttgart’s Panzer Kaserne and Patch Barracks later this year, Ward said. One will also open at Kaiserslautern’s Kleber Kaserne in November, the Exchange said on Twitter. Lakenheath and Mildenhall in England and Vicenza, Italy are expected to get Hunt Brothers in early 2020, Ward said.
Mildenhall will also get a J. Walken Chicken, which serves chicken sandwiches, chicken and waffles and chicken tenders.