State's 3rd Mooyah Burgers to bring fresh burgers and more to West Haven

Mooyah Burgers franchise owner Prakash Wadwhani and General Manager Anton Tomaj outside the new West Haven restaurant.

Mooyah Burgers franchise owner Prakash Wadwhani and General Manager Anton Tomaj outside the new West Haven restaurant.

The overall landscape for burgers, milk shakes and fries in West Haven is about to improve.

Mooyah Burgers, a Plano, Texas-based chain specializing in made-to-order burgers, freshly-cooked, hand-cut fries and creamy, flavored milk shakes is about to open — as early as Friday — on the ground floor of The Atwood mixed-use apartment building at Route 1 and Atwood Place.

The location — in the heart of the Allingtown section — is on the Boston Post Road next to CVS and across the street from the Allingtown Green, just a few hundred yards down the hill from University of New Haven. It’s Mooyah’s third in Connecticut after Mansfield and Newington.

Franchise owner Prakash Wadhwani of New Canaan, a former banker who also works in real estate, is banking on the prospect that West Haveners — including University of New Haven students — will like what they taste.

“The shakes here are amazing — it’s real ice cream!” Wadhwani said during a visit to the restaurant when it was still under construction.

“I’m a foodie myself” and “this one is definitely superior” to other, similar restaurants, he said.

Mooyah Burgers, a fast-casual, “better burger” concept, features never-frozen certified Angus beef, Jennio turkey burgers, black bean veggie burgers, 100 percent beef hot dogs and salads — along with a wide array of shakes.

Shake flavors include chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, banana, Oreo, M&Ms, cookie dough, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, mint chocolate chip and strawberry banana.

Several of Mooyah Burgers’ sandwiches and salads featured fresh avocado among the ingredients.

Wadhwani, who also owns three franchises for a men’s grooming businesses, Kennedy’s All-American Barber Club, got involved as a Mooyah Burgers franchises because Mooyah’s area development agent also is a franchisee for the men’s grooming business, he said.

By last week, Mooyah Burger was filled with employees, most of them teenagers and 20-somethings from West Haven, New Haven and nearby towns, being trained by General Manager Anton Tomaj and a Plano, Texas—based team to get up to speed for the opening.

Wadhwani said he expects the restaurant to employ about 40 people.

While Mooyah Burger is close to the university, “we’re going to target everybody,” Wadhwani said. Its burgers, shakes and other goodies will be available for delivery via commercial delivery services.

The West Haven Mooyah Burger will have seating for about 100 people inside and about 28 at seven tables outside.

Wadhwani said the restaurant “will do a lot of fundraising activities” with local community groups, “with a percentage of sales going to the cause.”