Former Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Orlando Brown will open Maryland's first Fatburger hamburger joint in August at a franchise location in Columbia.
The new restaurant, in the Columbia Gateway shopping center, will be one of five that Brown plans to open in Maryland. His franchise expects to open five additional Fatburgers around Washington, with a first location planned near Howard University, executives with the Santa Monica, Calif.-based chain said.
A planned College Park location, originally to be the first Maryland location, has been delayed.
"We're an L.A. hamburger concept that's trying to make a presence on the East Coast and throughout the country and world, for that matter," said Seymour Floyd, Fatburger's vice president of development.
The restaurant just opened its first international location in Macau and has others planned in Hong Kong and Beijing, Floyd said.
Brown's plans were first reported by The Daily Record.
The closest Fatburger restaurants to Baltimore are in Chesapeake, Va., and Atlantic City, N.J. The chain has 98 restaurant locations, mostly on the West Coast.
The Five Guys hamburger chain popular in the Baltimore-Washington region will be Fatburger's most direct competition in the market, Floyd said.
Unlike Five Guys, servers bring Fatburger orders to customers' tables after orders are placed at the counter, he said. Fatburger is known for its one-third-pound burgers, onion rings, steak fries and hand-dipped shakes. The restaurants have digital jukeboxes that spin out old school R&B; and jazz tunes.
Several music and sports celebrities besides Brown own Fatburger restaurants, including Queen Latifah, Kanye West and former professional football player Reggie Brown.