Morty’s Cafe is expanding

Hannah Mefford prepares one of Morty's specialty hamburgers Friday Aug. 24, at the new Blue Square location.

Morty’s Café is expanding. They have added another university location at Blue Square, located at 1111 N. 800 E. Logan, right across the street from Maverik Stadium. Morty’s Cafe co-owner Preston Parker said the new extension will open Aug. 27.

Morty’s co-owner Preston Parker uses his phone on the patio of his new Blue Square location Friday, Aug 24.

Blue Square, which is owned by Utah State University, pursued Parker to fill a vacancy in the facility.

“The university approached us; they’ve had other restaurants in the Blue Square location but none of them lasted,” he said. “We did the research and felt like it would be a good addition.”

One of the issues with their flagship eatery at 780 E. 700 N. (which will remain in its current location) is parking and seating. There are more people wanting Morty’s hamburgers than they can accommodate. This new location addresses both issues: parking and room. Most of all, Parker’s research said it should work.

There is an existing demand and we need to meet the demand which makes this location more attractive,” he said.

The Blue Square building has a Cache Valley Transit bus stop and an Aggie Shuttle stop in front. The new location has plenty of parking, a larger seating area with a patio with an elevated band stand. It also offers a banquet room for large groups and parties. Parker seemed pretty encouraged about the set up.

Parker foresees people going to and coming from football and basketball games as potential customers, besides all the students living in the apartments in Blue Square. 800 East is usually blocked off on football game days so people can access the building without traffic concerns.

As the demand for a gourmet hamburger grows so are Morty’s Cafe locations. A restaurant is currently being built in St George, one is in the works in Salt Lake City and the mobile Morty’s, a food truck with a fully functional kitchen on board, can be seen around Cache Valley.

For a college professor with a bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees and a doctorate with some minors thrown in the mix, Parker knows and relies on research.

Preston Parker talks to one of his employees inside of  Morty’s new Blue Square location on Friday Aug 24. The new restaurant is set to open Aug. 27.

When trying to decide if co-owner Ty Mortensen’s idea of a restaurant would work the professor did his research.

“Neither Ty or I had any restaurant experience so I did some research,” Parker said. “We found a hamburger would be the best to use.”

At the time, there were a few hamburger places closing in town. Parker sought out the owners, found out their reasons for closing and still felt the burger idea would work.

When it came to the taste of their main course, they found a group of people with different ideas meshed with their ideas and came up with what has been named the Best Tasting Burger in Cache Valley for several years running.

“We thought we would have a slow time during the summer with the students leaving but it increased,” Parker said.” Our summers are our busiest time. I think people wait until the students leave to come to eat, it’s not so busy.”

His studies show sales at Morty’s have not plateaued yet; they are still running above the projections after four years.

“Many restaurants plateau in the first few months,” he said.  “We haven’t even started to level off.”

The eatery continues to modify menu items with suggestions from the public and employees.

“Someone asked us for a Reuben sandwich,” he said.” We did our research and found a way to make a Reuben sandwich and introduced it and now they are on the menu.”

The new Morty’s Cafe extension isn’t the only new addition at Blue Square. The fast-food restaurant will be located right next to the new Aggie Chocolate Factory, which will be a working laboratory but also offer sweet treats.

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