City Weekend gets an exclusive interview with Hollywood celebrity and actor/producer Mark Wahlberg on the opening of American burger chain Wahlburgers. Wahlburgers is run by the Wahlberg family and will be expanding to Asia, starting with its first three locations in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Wuhan. We ask Mark Wahlberg about his burger likes and dislikes and what we should expect from Wahlburgers in China.
City Weekend: Which came first, the punny name or the idea to open a burger restaurant?
Mark Wahlberg: The idea of a burgers restaurant was first. Growing up, we all loved to eat burgers, so it made sense to leverage Paul’s expertise to open a burger concept. Of course, once that was decided, the name Wahlburgers was a natural.
CW: What has been the biggest challenge to get started in Shanghai?
MW: We are early in the process, so I don’t think we’ve yet faced what will be our biggest challenge in opening in Shanghai. It will of course be the start of building our brand in one of the world’s largest markets, and in a city with very high standards for food. So, I’m sure delivering a fantastic experience that does credit to both our brand and Shanghai will be a challenge, but we are up for the challenge.
CW: How much can we expect the menu in China to differ from what Wahlburger serves in the States?
MW: Our partners and we agree that, at its core, what we need to deliver is a Wahlburgers experience built around our core products. Having said that, of course we need to adapt the menu to satisfy local tastes. That balance will be developed in conjunction with David Laris, Wahlburgers Asia Pacific’s very talented concept leader who will team with Paul on adapting Wahlburgers for China.
CW: Wahlburgers serves “a spin on Wahlberg family favorites”. What does your mother think of the food? Did you have to get her approval on the final product?
MW: Alma loves the food! She even made her own contribution to the menu with Alma’s macaroni salad.
CW: Tell us a little bit about it was like eating in the Wahlberg household growing up.
MW: My mom and my dad always made sure that every meal was special. We always ate together.
Bad Boy images are a thing of the past for the famous family; family is the name of the game for the Wahlbergs. A&E’s hit show Wahlburgers showcases the contagiously funny, heartwarming, Wahlberg family and their venture to bring family values to the forefront through their national franchise:Wahlburgers.
As many viewers and would assume the Wahlbergs 13 locations are in the cities you would expect a celebrity owned chain of restaurants would be: Boston, New York, Orlando, Toronto, Detroit, Philadelphia, Myrtle Beach as well as the obvious original Hingham, Massachusetts location, the hometown of the Wahlbergs.
And on January 10, 2017 the restaurant announced its location in Huntsville, Alabama at CityCentre.
As a Huntsvillian myself, I was pleasantly surprised when I heard the news of such of Big Name chain opening at CityCentre. But the question lingered, “Why Huntsville?”
Most entrepreneurs would assume the first Southeast location for a big name chain of restaurants would be Atlanta, Nashville, or even Birmingham.
And if their desire was specifically to be in Alabama, wouldn’t Birmingham be the logical choice? It’s the largest city in the state.
So why Huntsville?
Just take a look at the numbers. Huntsville has a higher incomer per capita than any of theses cities, sustaining the $13-$14 price tag on a Wahlburger’s meal that includes a burger, soda, fries. And while it may seem appealing for a business to enter one of the fastest growing economies such as Nashville or Atlanta, it is important to enter a market that has controllable and sustainable growth, which Huntsville provides.
With operating expenses that are a staggering 32 percent less than the national average and rents that are 25 percent less per square-foot than the national average, the barrier to enter is significantly less than other Southeast metropolitan arenas.
Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg talk ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ during special edition Of ‘Inner Circle,’ the monthly series on the SiriusXM’s ‘The Jenny McCarthy Show’ on February 9, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois.
Home – Donnie | Public Appearances – Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg talk ‘Fifty Shades Darker’
Pop’s original scripted comedy series RETURN OF THE MAC (formerly “The Joey Mac Project”) stars boy band heartthrob Joey McIntyre as a version of himself alongside his real-life family—wife Barrett and their three children, Griffin (8), Rhys (6) and Kira (5). As he embarks on a hilarious quest to be taken seriously as a legit actor, Joey is thrown into the reluctant role of a talk-show host at a fledgling cable network called the Comfy Channel. As Joey starts to navigate the talk-show circuit, he is joined by his often misguided manager and team played by a hysterical cast, including Adam Ray, Jamie Denbo, Katie Wee, Punam Patel and Jordan Black.
RETURN OF THE MAC premieres Wednesday, April 12, at 8:30/7:30, following the premiere of HOLLYWOOD DARLINGS–only on Pop.
Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg host the 4th Annual ‘Leather & Laces’ Spectacular During Super Bowl LI Weekend at Hughes Manor on February 3, 2017 in Houston, Texas.
Home – Donnie | Public Appearances – 4th Annual ‘Leather & Laces’ Spectacular During Super Bowl LI Weekend
Donnie Wahlberg and Jenny McCarthy visit the SiriusXM set at Super Bowl LI Radio Row at the George R. Brown Convention Center on February 3, 2017 in Houston, Texas.
Home – Donnie | Public Appearances – The Jenny McCarthy Show at Super Bowl LI Radio Row
Donnie Wahlberg is a star on the hit show “Blue Bloods,” (currently in season 7), is part of Wahlburgers restaurant chain with his famous family and is devoted husband and family man. However, he isn’t just the guy next door. To his millions of fans, he will always be that new kid on the block.
NKOTB is doing a total package tour with New Kids on the Block and Boyz II Men in 2017. That’s right, fans, break out your best dance moves. Donnie says his son loves to come on tour with him and was a driving force in advocating for him to go on tour. Donnie says, “to see how much it means to the fans, that’s just so fulfilling.”
You can also look forward to more NKOTB cruises (there have been 8 thus far), which, as Donnie says, is “epic… 3,000 crazy people on a boat with 5 of us…it’s like spring break on a boat for people who are, like, twice the age of spring breakers…it’s really great.” [rachaelrayshow.com]
“Daddy’s Home 2” will debut in theaters on November 10, 2017. The follow-up to the 2015 hit will bring back Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell as warring fathers. It is also rumored to add John Lithgow and Mel Gibson to the mix. Sean Anders, the director of the first film, will return behind the camera.
“Daddy’s Home 2” will head off against “The Star,” a Sony animated offering, and “Red Sparrow,” a Fox thriller from Francis Lawrence, the director of several “Hunger Games” films. It will also be up against the second weekend of “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Bad Moms Christmas,” two highly-anticipated sequels. It’s a highly competitive time of year, as studios are angling to get their films into multiplexes in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.
The first “Daddy’s Home” grossed $240.4 million globally despite being released in the shadow of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The combination of a Ferrell and Wahlberg has been potent commercially — the pair also headlined “The Other Guys,” a 2010 hit.
Jordan Brand’s newest silhouette, the Formula 23, serves as the base sneaker for Mark Wahlberg’s first Air Jordan collab which he has dedicated to his family’s restaurant chain and A&E show “Wahlburgers.”
Marky Mark first alluded to the Jordan collab during an episode of Wahlburgers when the actor/producer/businessman/sneaker collector paid a visit to Nike’s Beaverton, Oregon headquarters to work on the upcoming model with a team of designers and Nike employees.
The special edition Wahlburgers x Jordan Formula 23 sneaker, a shoe that draws on inspiration from the Air Jordan 10 and 11, will likely be an exclusive pair for promotional purposes, therefore it’s unlikely they’ll be releasing in stores.
Currently in their seventh season, the cast of the CBS mega hit Blue Bloods, celebrates a major milestone with 92nd Street Y. Please join stars Tom Selleck, Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes, Len Cariou, Amy Carlson, Sami Gayle and Executive Producer Kevin Wade as they discuss how it feels to hit 150 episodes and reminisce about how it all began. A screening of the 150th episode will begin promptly at 7:30 pm on Monday, March 27 followed by a Q&A with the cast and executive producer.
Date: Mon, Mar 27, 2017, 7:30 pm
Location: Lexington Avenue at 92nd St
Venue: Kaufmann Concert Hall
Price: from $65.00
The most beloved music icons of the ’80s came together again for the return of the iHeart80s Party. The event took place at the SAP Center in San Jose, CA on January 28, 2017 to celebrate the most unforgettable and influential decade. Photo credits to Tim Mosenfelder, Steve Jennings and Vivien Killilea.
Home – NKOTB (2008 – PRESENT) – #iHeart90s Party (1.28.2017)
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Actor and producer Mark Wahlberg, former NFL and MLB All-Star and Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson, and Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, are among the early list of star-studded celebrities from the sports and entertainment world who will be playing in the Annexus Pro-Am at the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Wednesday, Feb. 1, at TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course starting at 8:30 a.m.
Wahlberg is one of the most recognized actors and producers in Hollywood and has appeared in blockbuster movies such as A Perfect Storm, Boogie Nights, The Departed, Lone Survivor and the recently released Patriots Day. He also has served as executive producer of four HBO hit series including Entourage, Boardwalk Empire, How to Make it in America and Ballers.
Considered by many to be one of the greatest athletes of all time, Jackson earned the 1985 Heisman Trophy while playing running back at Auburn, and went on to become a two-sport professional athlete, earning league All-Star recognition in both the National Football League with the Oakland Raiders and in Major League Baseball for the Kansas City Royals. He also is widely known for his endorsement with Nike and his famous “Bo Knows” campaign.
Phelps is considered the greatest Olympic athlete of all time thanks in part to his record 28 overall medals, including a record 23 gold medals. He is coming off of his fifth Olympic Games in Rio, where he added six more medals, including five gold medals, to his record medal count. The Scottsdale resident will be making his second appearance in the Annexus Pro-Am (2013).
Tee times for the Annexus Pro-Am will range from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Exact tee times for participants will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 31 on wmphoenixopen.com, along with a complete list of celebrities and PGA TOUR players in the field.
The 2017 Waste Management Phoenix Open, also known as “The Greatest Show on Grass,” and “The People’s Open”, will be held Jan. 30 – Feb 5, 2017, at TPC Scottsdale. The Waste Management Phoenix Open is the best-attended golf tournament in the world and has gained legendary status for being the most unique stop on the PGA TOUR. Last year’s tournament broke three attendance records, including a PGA TOUR record 618,365 fans for the week. The 2017 edition will mark the 82nd playing of the event (one of the five oldest events on the PGA TOUR) and the eighth as the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports. The Thunderbirds consist of 55 “active” members and more than 250 “life” members. Last year The Thunderbirds raised a record $9.3 million for charity and have eclipsed $111 million in charitable giving since its inception. For more information on the Thunderbirds or the 2017 Waste Management Phoenix Open visit www.wmphoenixopen.com.