A new burger and sandwich diner spot on Ingersoll Avenue has been quite the popular spot since opening a few weeks ago. Lachele’s Fine Foods is owned by Cory Wendel, former executive chef at Aposto at the Scala House, and his wife, Lachele (goes by Lucy), who decided to renovate the former Uncle Wendell’s BBQ space (2716 Ingersoll Ave.) into a colorful upscale diner.
But even they couldn’t have imagined what happened when they opened Feb. 20.
“As we ran into pandemic-related construction delays, I began to think, ‘Did I make the right decision?’” Wendel says. “When we decided on the day to open, the sun was out, the snow was melting and people were ready for takeout. We’re averaging 40 to 60 hot dogs and 350 burger balls per day.” Wendel says they completely sold out two Saturdays in a row. Lachele’s (rhymes with Michelle) is so slammed, in fact, that they can’t accept online or phone orders quite yet, only taking requests in person. Wendel adds, “I apologize about that.”
Diners can order at a walk-up window or can sit at one of three tables in the dining room, with more indoor seating on the way post-pandemic. You’ll be treated to beef smash burgers (with a “finely ground beef from a purveyor who humanely treats their cattle,” Wendel explains), hot dogs (featuring Des Moines-based Berkwood Farms franks), sandwiches (including vegetarian options) and crispy double-fried fries. The concise menu focuses on the food philosophy Wendel honed at Aposto: “No frills and done right.”
Executive chef Jake Cole and cooks sling out an impressive amount of food—and fast. “We aim for a seven-minute ticket time,” Wendel says. “Hands down, the Lachele Burger is our top seller so far. … In my opinion, the perfect order is a double Lachele Burger, a Weekender Chili Dog and fries.”
This is just the beginning, both for Lachele’s and beyond. Wendel has his sights set on opening a larger, separate brick and mortar for a Lachele’s burger and malt shop. He hopes the brand can act as a launch pad for his team’s dreams, aiming to train his staff so they feel comfortable setting up their own shops as sister brands, like a wood-fired pizza place, steakhouse spot or taco restaurant. Wendel also has ambitious philanthropy plans to support homeless veterans, too.
You can stay up to date on his efforts online or on Instagram. Visit Lachele’s for dine-in or takeout Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (or until sold out).