Embers Grille moving to Grovetown

A Martinez restaurant best known for its hamburgers has closed so it can reopen around the first of next year in Grovetown.


Embers Grille shared a building with the Circle K convenience store at 190 Baston Road since 2008. But for the past year-and-a-half, increasingly cramped quarters spurred owner Danny Durham Jr. to think about moving.

“There were days at the old location where seats were full and the square footage was so tight,” Durham said. “We were almost 10 years at the Martinez location, and we felt like the next step is a free-standing building. We feel like it’s a stepping stone for us.”

Durham announced the move to customers Tuesday, both online and with signs posted in the windows of the locked building.

The new restaurant will be at 313 E. Robinson Ave., until recently the site of Gene’s Barber Shop. Durham said the tiny brick building on the .44-acre land parcel will be demolished, and a new restaurant of between 2,000 and 2,200 square feet will be built, to include a banquet area for special events.

He said he bought the property for $120,000.

“We’re working hard with the city of Grovetown to get planning and permitting all together,” he said. “Everyone’s been really kind and helpful.”

Durham also was prompted to move by the booming growth in the Grovetown area.

“It’s growing so fast, and they’re doing work on Robinson to make it easier to travel through,” he said. Traffic from nearby Fort Gordon will be “a big aspect of our business, too,” he said.

Durham said he hopes to introduce more dinner options, such as a meat-and-three-sides meal. But other customer food favorites will stay – including the Triple Burger Challenge.

“That actually came from customers recommending we do a challenge like that,” he said.

Embers offers three 6-ounce handmade hamburger patties on a bun with a choice of trimmings, a large order of hand-cut fries and a 32-ounce drink. Whoever can eat it all in an hour or less earns a photographed spot on the restaurant’s “wall of fame.”

Embers started life in Martinez as a Back Yard Burgers franchise, but Durham bought out his franchise partners in 2008 and re-established it as Embers. He said he hopes his restaurant will be a “launching point” to start a franchise of his own.

Reach Joe Hotchkiss at (706) 823-3543 or joe.hotchkiss@augustachronicle.com.