Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 5 p.m.
Mick's Karma Bar, which was originally conceived of as a juice bar addendum for Kitima Thai Restaurant in Irvine, has been granted a trademark for its Karma Burger, it announced on its Facebook.
The story behind how the Game of Burgers contender came to be is remarkable. The burger was introduced as an afterthought. Mick's Karma Bar was only supposed to have an ancillary menu of smoothies, juices and a few wraps to complement Kitima, the long-lived Thai restaurant. Mick's Karma Bar was to be a typical office park cafe. But somehow word of the ground-from-sirloin burgers went viral and now the lines at lunch rival that of In-N-Out's and the demand for the sandwiches has completely eclipsed the Thai food offering.
The sheer popularity of the burgers has forced them to eliminate nearly everything else on the Karma Bar menu. The kitchen staff would get too taxed otherwise. Mick's tells me that they estimate that they sell upwards on 500 burgers a day now. At one point they were making so many burgers, their original ventilation system couldn't keep up. A fog of beef fumes choked the kitchen, and worse, began to seep up to the upper floors of the office tower they occupy. These days a new system they've replaced it with sucks up and expels the smoke with the force of a jet engine.
Though the official trademark certificate came in last week, it's been in the works for some time, filed with the help of one of its earliest customers, lawyers from an intellectual property firm that happens to have its offices overlooking the courtyard where Mick's is.
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How will the now-trademarked Karma Burger do in the final round of our Game of Burgers? We shall see!