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From Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch to Donnie’s boy band days that had girls drooling over the hunky New Kids On The Block singer, the Wahlbergs are redefining their name.

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.

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“No.”

Chef Paul Wahlberg has a pretty direct answer when asked whether he’s become comfortable with his celebrity as the star of Wahlburgers, A&E’s reality show series about the eponymous fast-casual burger restaurants he owns with his partner-brothers Mark and Donnie Wahlberg. Last week Wahlburgers celebrated its fifth anniversary, and the Emmy-nominated TV series launches its latest season on November 16. But even after years of practice, and a lifetime watching his entertainment biz bros handle Hollywood, it’s still a little hard for Paul Wahlberg to digest the celeb-chef thing. He doesn’t love doing the publicity circuit; during an interview at Alma Nove, his upscale Italian restaurant across the street from the original Wahlburgers, the chef sometimes sits on his hands to avoid moving about the room. (“I get fidgety!” he chuckles.) He’s as press shy as his famous brothers are limelight-loving, and he laughs at the irony that, just a few days prior, his brother Donnie broke a Guinness World Record for — wait for it! — taking selfies on a New Kids on the Block cruise.

“I’m still not comfortable in that world, though I count my blessings from it,” says Wahlberg of the fame machine. “Still, if I get caught up in the celebrity part, I’m not doing my job.”

His job, he says, is simply to cook. That’s where he feels at home, even if the demands of a TV show and booming burger chain require other kinds of attention. Since opening the first Wahlburgers location in Hingham in 2011, the brand has expanded to about a dozen locations around the country — from Vegas to Orlando — with dozens more international outposts under agreement with franchisees. And the television show, which follows the comic travails of the Wahlberg clan as they run the family business, has garnered a loyal following that surprises even the chef. He’s had fans drive hours just to get a patty melt and a boozy frappe, a dedication that, frankly, makes him a bit self-conscious. “I had one couple drive here nonstop from Nova Scotia. I couldn’t do enough for them,” recalls Wahlberg of two exceptionally devout diners. (That’s an 11-hour drive, if you’re curious.) Of course, all those TV-bred expectations are a double-edged sword. “You have people who think it’s the best thing ever. Then you have the people who say, ‘it doesn’t live up to they hype.’ But it’s not meant to be hyped. That’s not what I’m trying to achieve.”

Whatever the show suggests, the chef says he just wants to show folks a good time at Wahlburgers, whether by doling out tried-and-true burgers (topped with fixings like “government cheese,” a nod to hardscrabble times growing up in Dorchester) or seasonal variations like the just-launched fiesta burger (pictured above), a half-pound patty made with Southern spice mix and topped with jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, chipotle aioli and sweet pepper and smoked onion salsa. The chain has also branched out to non-burger items like smoked mozzarella mac-n-cheese with bacon and open-faced Sloppy Joe sandwiches slathered in cheese sauce.

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For Paul Wahlberg, the chef in charge of the surging burger chain Wahlburgers, the hardest part of working with his famous bros, actor and New Kid on the Block Donnie and Hollywood heavy Mark Wahlberg, is forgetting all those arguments about the flat bicycle tire.

“You just try not to revert back to when you were 12 years old and were like, ‘You took my bike and got a flat tire!’ Those kinds of things,” Wahlberg told the Track. “Even though it’s been the same way since you were 12, you can’t go there.”

Despite the bike situation, Wahlberg — who yesterday celebrated the fifth anniversary of the very first Wahlburgers in Hingham — loves working with his brothers, who, he said, have been nothing but supportive.

So who is the toughest member of the family to work with? That would be mom Alma, Paul said.

“My mother wants to be the boss,” he laughed. “Because she is the boss.”

In any event, Wahlberg and Wahlburgers have come a long way since the first burger joint opened back in 2011 in the Hingham Shipyard. For one thing, there are now 11 Wahlburgers spread around the country, including three in Massachusetts — the original in Hingham, one around the corner from Fenway Park and one in Lynnfield. The family hopes eventually to have 30 across the country.

And then there’s the TV show.

“Wahlburgers,” starring Paul, Mark, Donnie, Alma and the rest of their family and wacky Entourage, will launch season seven on Nov. 16 with more bickering about who is Alma’s favorite son, more expansion and more Johnny Drama.

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While his brothers Mark and Donnie are in the entertainment industry, the only showbiz Paul really partakes in is his restaurant’s reality TV show Wahlburgers. Food has always been to main focus in Paul’s life.

While we inhaled a few items from the Wahlburgers’ TIFF special menu that features housemade Lobster Poutine, sweet potato tots, and popcorn jalepeno shrimp, we also had a chance to catch up with Chef Paul to chat about Toronto and TIFF.

So, why did you open the first restaurant outside of Massachusetts in Toronto?

Paul: I’ve been to Toronto a bunch a times so I know the city well. I love the city life and the energy here. Walking around it’s amazing. Everyone is so nice here. For us, you know Mark and Donnie film here so much and we have so many connections here in Toronto it just made sense for us. They have a huge fan base here in the city.

Do people recognize you too?

Paul: People are nice here and they don’t really bug me. Once in a while they recognize me and I can hear them whispering. Sometimes I hear “Oh look, it’s Donnie!” which is totally fine. I got chased out of a store once with someone yelling Donnie Wahlberg! Donnie Wahlberg! The funniest is when people come up to me and complain about my brothers. They don’t like a movie they’re in or something and I guess they think I’ll go back and discuss that with them. But what’s really funny is when people come up and tell me that they love my mother. So I tell my mom that people love her and that they say hello. But then she’ll ask me who they were.

Are you TIFFing while you’re here?

Paul: (laughs) I’ve been here a few times around TIFF and I like to walk around the area and along King Street and Spadina. I love all the pop-up places but it’s been a busy time for me here at the restaurant. I did walk over to get a porchetta sandwich down on King Street near here. It was pretty amazing. The crackling, the bread, it’s the perfect sandwich. Mark is here for TIFF. It’s a beautiful time of year to be here. (Mark is in town for the premiere of his film Deepwater Horizon)

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Chef and owner of popular restaurant Wahlburgers, Paul Wahlberg introduces the new Mac ‘N Cheese with Smoked Bacon – Breakfast Television (BTtoronto), September 13, 2016

St Andrews is no stranger to A-listers popping in from time to time and locals were delighted when the Wahlbergs arrived in town yesterday (September 6). Actor Mark Wahlberg visited a kilt shop in the town and was spotted getting into a vintage red sports car as throngs of people flocked to grab a snap.

The star of smash-hit movies such as Boogie Nights and Martin Scorsese’s The Departed also enjoyed a round of golf on the historic Old Course.

He’s in Fife while filming takes place for the US reality series Wahlburgers, which gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the restaurant chain owned by Mark and his brothers Paul and Donnie.

Chef Paul sampled The Tavern’s menu at Strathkinness. “This is my first time in Scotland,” he said. “It’s my first trip and it’s absolutely beautiful, and it’s been made better because my brother was kind enough to get me a car.”  [thecourier.co.uk]

Gallery Link:
Home – Mark | Public Appearances – Kingsbarns Golf Links

Wahlberg is in Detroit filming “Transformers 5,” and while filming ran long Tuesday, he was less than an hour late for his scheduled 7 p.m. red carpet appearance.

“I get out of work when Michael Bay says I get out of work,” he joked.

“Detroit reminds me very much of Boston, it’s a great sports town,” he added, saying he’d move to Detroit if his wife wanted to. “We’re pushing to get more incentives here so we can make more films. We’re going to open up more restaurants, so I’ll be here quite often.”

Fans lined Monroe, hoping to catch a glimpse of the actor.

“We’re big fans,” said Angela Miller, who came to Greektown at 9 a.m. from Brighton with her friend Heather Ferrell of Belleville. “We’ve been following Mark and Donnie for a long time, and we got to meet Paul earlier today. We thought it was opening today so we came down.”

Emily Jilg, 27, of Novi cut her family vacation short by one to be in Detroit on Wednesday. She flew out of Orlando at 4 a.m., arriving on Monroe with her friend Linda Wilson, also of Novi, around 1 p.m.

“I would like to meet him and get a selfie,” she said. “I’ve been a fan for years and years and years.”

In December, Wahlberg announced in an interview with FOX 2’s Lee Thomas his plans to open a Wahlburgers in Greektown this summer in a Bedrock building. Later, it was revealed to be 569 Monroe, a 4,200-square-foot space next to the Red Smoke Barbeque restaurant.

In June, Wahlberg released a video statement saying the opening date would be “in four weeks,” estimating a late July opening.

Wahlburgers is owned by Mark, Paul and brother Donnie, who plays Detective Daniel Reagan on CBS’ “Blue Bloods” and is a member of boy band New Kids on the Block. Local partner Cutraro also owns Bella Piatti in Birmingham.

According to its website, Wahlburgers has locations in Toronto, New York and the brothers’ native state, Massachusetts. The Greektown restaurant will be first of six Wahlburgers planned for southeast Michigan. These locations are part of a nationwide expansion for the brand, which struck deals with various franchise groups to expand to a total of 118 restaurants.

Wahlburgers Detroit will serve lunch and dinner. The menu includes a full bar with a focus on burgers, sandwiches, sides, salads and gourmet sodas.  [detroitnews.com]

Gallery Link:
Home – Wahlberg Family – Wahlburgers Downtown Detroit (Greektown)

It was a chance meeting on the field at MCU Park between Donnie Wahlberg and Mookie Wilson when the CBS “Blue Bloods” star decided to take a few good-natured ribs at the New York Mets 1986 Game 6 World Series hero. Engaging in some baseball banter before the July 21 Aberdeen game, the Dorchester, Massachusetts native told Wilson, “I’m going to break the curse that the Mets have over the Boston Red Sox when I throw out the first pitch tonight.”

Wahlberg explained further, saying, “We broke the Curse of the Bambino in 2004 and now it’s time to break the Curse of Mookie Wilson!” Laughingly, Wilson said that he wasn’t aware of the curse and gave Wahlberg a pat on the back and wished him well as Wilson returned to the clubhouse and Wahlberg walked to the Cyclone bullpen to practice for his ceremonial first pitch.

Ensuring that he’d make a good first pitch, the Cyclone staff lent Wahlberg Cyclone Pitching Coach Billy Bryk and right-handed pitcher Gary Cornish for a bullpen session. After 20 minutes of pitching in the pen, Bryk pronounced Wahlberg “ready to toe the rubber.” Unfortunately, the instruction went for naught as the Red Sox rooter realized his worse fear on the mound and bounced the ball in front of home plate on his delivery to the catcher.

Having missed Wahlberg’s first pitch, Wilson was informed of the short throw during the game to which he exclaimed with a wry smile, “Well if he bounced the ball, it doesn’t count to break my curse. Does it now?!”

However, some of Wahlberg’s Irish-Swedish heritage magic did rub off on the Cyclones as the team got lucky in the ninth inning on Irish Night and managed to hold on for a narrow 3-2 win. After the Cyclones’ emerging pitching ace Harol Gonzalez held Aberdeen scoreless over 7.2 innings with nine strikeouts, the Brooklyn bullpen uncharacteristically gave up two runs in the ninth inning to make the Cyclone fans once again grit their teeth.

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Chef Paul Wahlberg­ paints a colorful portrait of his circa-­1970s Dorchester childhood among a large, growing and now very famous family.

“Imagine a nest of birds with all their mouths open chirping and it’s always time to feed them,” Wahlberg, one of nine children of Alma and the late Donald Wahlberg, told the Boston Herald. “That was our house. When somebody went to the store for milk, they came back with two gallons. We ate meals that fed a lot of people.”

It’s those images of family life that inspired the new menu he’s releasing this week at Wahlburgers restaurants here in Greater Boston (Fenway, Hingham, Lynnfield) and beyond. (The company is in the midst of a massive franchise expansion plan.)

Fortunately for Paul, his customers and the rest of the Wahlberg clan — including international celebrity brothers Donnie and Mark — Mom and Dad were pretty good cooks.

“My dad made chili all the time,” said Wahlberg, who’s now a TV star in his own right thanks to the success of the A&E reality series “Wahlburgers,” where he and Mom play a central role. “Nothing fancy. No onions. No sour cream. Just chili. It was awesome.”

Alma specialized in sauce and pasta. “Her lasagna is still my brother Mark’s favorite thing and he asks for it whenever he comes home. It was also a great dish at a time when she was feeding a lot of kids.”

The new menu features several dishes right off the Wahlberg dinner table, modified for scratch cooking and contemporary tastes.

Paul and the kids grew up eating sloppy joes with canned Manwich sauce, in true blue-collar style. The new Wahlburgers version is a simply simmered blend of ground beef, onions, tomatoes and seasonings, served open-faced on Texas toast with crispy onions and house-made cheese sauce.

The Wahlberg clan also ate mac ’n’ cheese made from scratch with “government cheese” — a box of processed cheese familiar to many struggling families decades ago. In my neighborhood, kids used to boast that “government cheese makes the best grilled cheese.”

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This April, you could cook (and eat) dinner with a Wahlberg.

Paul Wahlberg, owner and executive chef of Hingham-based Alma Nove and expanding burger chain Wahlburgers, will lead a cooking demonstration and dinner at the Boston Public Market in its KITCHEN space.

The April 13 event, hosted by the Trustees of Reservations, will include an hour-long interactive cooking demonstration on how to prepare a meal with locally sourced ingredients, followed by a seated dinner.

“This Market, and the teaching space The KITCHEN brings to it, represents a much-needed and unique opportunity to support the regional farms, farmers, and small businesses that are so important to the health and sustainability of our local economy and food movement,’’ Wahlberg said in a statement.

A portion of the ticket sales benefits the Wahlberg family charity, Alma Cares, which fed 1,500 families in need last year, according to a statement from the Trustees. Tickets are $68 for Trustees members and $85 for nonmembers. Each ticket includes the demo, appetizers, a three-course dinner, dessert, and one complimentary beverage.

[boston.com]

Time to put Alma on the spot. Find out who her favorite Wahlberg is on the season premiere of Wahlburgers, March 9th at 9/8c!

New Season of Wahlburgers

Time to put Alma on the spot. Find out who her favorite Wahlberg is on the season premiere of #Wahlburgers, March 9th at 9/8c!

Posted by Wahlburgers on A&E on Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The long awaited Wahlburgers Orlando is finally open and Mark and Paul Wahlberg were there for all the festivities. Hundreds of fans lined up around the Orange Ave location to catch a glimpse of the Wahlberg brothers as they walked the red carpet.

The event featured live entertainment, giveaways and free samples. One of the most talked about items on the menu is the new Orlando Dreamsicle drink, an adult frappe made with vanilla vodka, triple sec, orange juice and ice cream that Wahlburgers has created exclusively for the new location.

Bringing a restaurant to Orlando has been on the Wahlberg brothers’ minds for quite some time. Mark has even talked about expanding to 3000 locations all across the US.  [icflorida.com]

Gallery Link:
Home – Wahlberg Family – Wahlburgers Orlando Grand Opening

We live in amazing times, where once-incurable diseases are on the cusp of eradication — if only there were sufficient funding and advocacy.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a rare disease that primarily strikes young boys. Jett Foundation founder Christine McSherry (whose son Jett suffers from the disease) is on a mission to help fund a cure and provide aid programs for those who live with DMD.

Full disclosure — I had the pleasure of meeting Christine (and her son) when we were Charity Warriors contestants during the competition’s inaugural season.

McSherry and a handful of VIP friends are making it easy to help their cause. On Monday, March 7, local star chefs will whip up delicious treats at Yale Appliance’s Boston location (296 Freeport St., Dorchester) at Cook for a Cause to benefit The Jett Foundation.

The event will offer sample light bites, paired wines, and delicious desserts from the likes of Yvonne’s Tom Berry and Juan Pedrosa, Paul Wahlberg of Wahlburgers and Alma Nove and Adam Kube of Bastille Kitchen as Jenny Johnson of NESN’s “Dining Playbook” emcees the culinary evening.

“We are in a very important time in the history of Duchenne,” McSherry said.

“For the first time ever, there is real proof that there is a drug that could stop Duchenne in its tracks; however, it is expensive to promote advocacy, and we need all the help we can get.”

Tickets are $100 and available 
at jettfoundation.org.

PHOTO:  Paul Wahlberg, cooking at the 2015 Corks and Forks fundraiser for The Jett Foundation/Courtesy photo

[bostonherald.com]

What does Donnie Wahlberg think of the hype surrounding “Making A Murderer”? The reality TV star tells Sangita Patel why the audience should be asking more questions before signing any petition.

Donnie Wahlberg Dishes On 'Making A Murderer'

Donnie Wahlberg explains his recent commentary on the Netflix series Making A Murderer.

Posted by Sangita Patel on Tuesday, January 19, 2016

[etcanada.com]

Chef Paul and Donnie were on hand to help Wahlburgers Toronto cheer on the Patriots, Wahlburgers’ favourite NFL team!

Gallery Link:
Home – Wahlberg Family – Patriots Rally 2016 with Paul and Donnie

It was whal to whal Wahlbergs at the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel on Wellington St. Saturday, when brothers Paul and Donnie came to talk food, sports, their various TV shows and share the love with several charitable organizations they were hosting later in the evening.

The two famous brothers — there’s a whole whack of them spread across the continent, including uber-hunk actor Mark Wahlberg — also came to talk about the recent expansion of their Wahlburgers restaurant franchise to Toronto Pearson International Airport.

They have plans to open Wahlburgers in more than 100 locations.

“But, we take it one day at a time,” said Paul, a professional chef for more than 30 years. “Mark wants one everywhere — he wanted one on Mars after watching the movie, The Martian.”

What excites the two about Canada, Toronto in general?

“The food scene here is unbelievable!” says Donnie, of New Kids on the Block fame, who juggles his work on Blue Bloods, his band, his production work and his reality show with his wife, Jenny McCarthy. “Here at the SoHo there’s Susur Lee’s restaurant and the food there is unbelievable.”

“It’s a city where you can get any food you want, all authentic; the diversity is amazing, and that includes the staff,” added Paul. Which may explain why the brothers are in and out of the city on a regular basis.

“There’s always something new and exciting,” said Paul, adding the relationship with the suppliers of Canadian products used in the restaurant is “the best.” “We’re dealing with the finest. The foods we sourced are some of the best in the world. Toronto is the type of city that delivers all the right ingredients.”

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Before the new Wahlburgers in Fenway officially opens its doors, the burger joint rolled out the red carpet for an invite-only, grand opening party on Thursday night.

Friends and family members joined owners Mark, Donnie, and Paul Wahlberg for the festivities, as eager fans snapped photos from behind a velvet rope.

Between an Emmy nominated reality series and new locations popping up in Boston and abroad, it’s clear that the Dorchester brothers are building something big with the Wahlburgers brand.

Nothing would make them happier than to see their joint venture turn into something that provides for their family generation after generation. However, they aren’t ready to get lost in dreams of dynasty building just yet, and are staying focused on keeping up the momentum at their various New England locations.

“It would be amazing to build a business that would last for generations, but most importantly, it’s important for us to start it right here in our own backyard,” Mark said. “Whether it be here in Fenway, in Hingham, in Lynnfield, coming up in Dorchester very soon, we want to start really in and around the New England area. We’ve got a lot of other businesses and franchisees out across the country and across different parts of the world, but our main focus right now is in New England.”

For Paul, the mastermind chef behind Wahlburgers, he is solely occupied with creating quality meals each and every time. There’s simply no room for talk of the future.

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A celebrity-owned restaurant is making its way down to the east coast to Florida.

Wahlburgers — which is owned by actor-brothers Mark, Donnie and Paul Wahlberg — will open its first Sunshine State location in Orlando, the Orlando Business Journal reports.

The new Wahlburgers will take a spot in the SunTrust Center in downtown Orlando at 200 S. Orange Ave.

This won’t be the only Wahlburgers in Florida: It’s the first of 20 planned locations as part of a franchise agreement with an Orlando businessman, the Orlando Business Journal reports.

The burger joint and its famous owners are the subject of an A&E TV series. No information is available on whether any episodes will be filmed at the new location. The show’s fourth season premieres July 15.

[palmbeachpost.com]