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A local burger spot is so popular it is planning two new locations — in Fresno, Clovis

Barely more than a year old, Hammy’s Smash Burgers is about to be serving a lot more of its thin and crispy hamburgers around town.

The locally owned restaurant is planning to open two more locations.

The first is coming to Clovis, near Peach and Shaw avenues. It’s taking over the now-closed CHICK N’ BROS spot in front of Walmart.

No opening date has been set yet, but owner Hamzah “Hammy” Ahmed said he hopes to open by the end of the month.

“We never even really thought about expanding to a second location, but we just got so much feedback from our customers about expanding,” he said.

Customers were especially vocal about wanting Hammy’s to expand to Clovis, he said, with no quick way to get from there to the original West Shaw location near Costco.

While that spot fills up its few tables during the dinner rush, the Clovis location at 393 W. Shaw Ave. will seat nearly 60 people.

Another location is in the works, too. Hammy’s will move into the recently closed Pita Grill spot, at First Street and Shaw Avenue, near Fashion Fair mall.

The business is taking over the lease from Pita Grill, and it could be several months before it opens, possibly in February or later, Ahmed said.

“We love that location. We’ll take it,” he said. “We’ll put that on the back burner for now.”

Hammy’s Smash Burgers is about to open its second location, this time near Shaw and Peach avenues in Clovis.
Hammy’s Smash Burgers is about to open its second location, this time near Shaw and Peach avenues in Clovis.

What’s a smash burger?

Smash burgers are a trend that’s been around a while, but hit Fresno last year. Flippin’ Daves Burgers and Fries opened not far from Hammy’s last summer, but has since closed.

Not to be confused with the chain Smashburger (which does not have a location in the Valley), a smash burger is simply a burger smashed thin with a metal press until its edges are crispy.

A traditional smash burger at Hammy’s is served with a sauce that’s similar to Thousand Island dressing and grilled onions for $6. The limited menu includes burgers served with two or three patties, bacon or jalapenos.

Hammy’s has a 4.7 rating out of five stars on restaurant review site Yelp.com — an unusually high rating.

Said reviewer Michelle S.: “Hammy’s sells a TRUE smashed burger. I cannot even describe to you how good my burger was. It had yummy crispy edges, the patty was cooked perfect ... and that bun oh my gosh, that bun was spectacular.”

Ahmed didn’t invent smash burgers, but has spent his career at burger restaurants. He started as age 14 at his aunt and uncle’s Frosty King in Corcoran and spent a decade at Triangle Drive In Burgers.

“Since I started in burgers, it would probably be like 20 years,” he said.

An original smash burger, prepared with grilled onions, cheese and special sauce, sizzle on the grill with others at Hammy’s Smash Burgers on West Shaw Avenue in Fresno.
An original smash burger, prepared with grilled onions, cheese and special sauce, sizzle on the grill with others at Hammy’s Smash Burgers on West Shaw Avenue in Fresno.
An original smash burger, prepared with grilled onions, cheese and special sauce, is plated with crispy fries at Hammy’s Smash Burgers on West Shaw Avenue in this file photo.
An original smash burger, prepared with grilled onions, cheese and special sauce, is plated with crispy fries at Hammy’s Smash Burgers on West Shaw Avenue in this file photo.