New HD Burger & More holds ribbon cutting to celebrate opening in Antioch

Owners Haroon, Dina and Wally (with scissors) with their families are joined by Antioch business and community leaders for the ribbon cutting to officially open their HD Burger & More restaurant Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017.

By Allen Payton

The Antioch Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for HD Burger & More, Thursday night, Nov. 16 to celebrate the opening of the new restaurant in Antioch. They opened in February and offer a variety of unique burgers including a lamb, Black & Bleu, turkey, and quinoa burgers, and the very tasty smoked brisket burger which was the favorite of many of the business and community leaders in attendance, including Mayor Sean Wright and Chamber CEO Richard Pagano, (as well as this writer).

HD Burgers & More’s Black & Bleu Burger. Photo from their website.

“I am absolutely elated that you invited us to be here tonight at HD Burgers and super excited to try the burgers and fries,” Pagano said.

Presentations of official certificates welcoming the new business to Antioch were then made by representatives of Congressman Jerry McNerney and Assemblyman Jim Frazier.

Wright was next to speak, saying “Congratulations on opening and delivering delicious food. We hope to see you here for the next 5, 10 and 15 years.”

The name is a double entendre for both high definition and the first initials of the husband and wife owners Haroon and Dina Popal.

“Thank you to everybody at the Chamber of Commerce,” Haroon said.

His brother-in-law Wally Arakozie who works with them, offered his thanks, as well.

“I want to thank everyone for your support,” he said. “We would like to be a staple of Antioch and like to see us grow, and for you guys to be a part of it.”

In interviews on Friday, Dina and Haroon shared more about their background and why they opened their restaurant.

Fulfilling Their Dreams

Dina came to America from Afghanistan in the early 1990’s and went straight to work. She worked at the Smokehouse in Berkeley.

“I learned a lot from that restaurant,” Dina added.

She worked a variety of jobs while she went to school to be a medical assistant.

“But this was my dream,” she said.

Then Haroon arrived in the U.S in 1995. They met at a wedding not too long later.

“Haroon has a master’s degree as a telecommunications engineer,” Dina shared. But he ended up working in sales at Concord BMW for eight years, and was one of their top salesmen.

At one time, both of them were real estate agents with ReMax.

Regarding the restaurant, she said “people said I should open a franchise. But with one of them you’re stuck. I want to do something myself and make new burgers, new salads and new fries.”

“We tried to create something that isn’t in this area. Something for everybody,” said Haroon. “Vegetarian, beef, chicken, salads and seafood.”

“Everything is fresh,” he continued. “The burgers are larger with 6.3-ounce patties and certified Angus beef, and 100% California grown. They bring it fresh and we make it fresh. We serve good, quality food.”

That means there are no hormones or antibiotics in the beef. Their chicken breasts are fresh and natural, as well.

The Popals did all of the tenant improvements to the place themselves. They installed the tile and did the painting, as well to convert the restaurant from the Quizno’s that was there before to what it is, today.

“We are both handymen,” Dina stated with a smile. “People have been asking if this is part of a chain. They’re already asking if we are opening another location.”

That’s Haroon’s goal and dream, to eventually franchise.

“Over the past nine months we have been working out our system,” he said. “We’ve already changed and added some items to our menu.”

“I love America,” Dina added. “Anything can be possible if you’re willing to work for it. There is Opportunity you have here.”

The Popals have three children and their oldest Joseph works with them in their business.

The “more” part of their restaurant includes chicken, tri-tip, pastrami, Philly cheesesteak and fish sandwiches, unique salads, a variety of different types of fries including green bean and poutine (it’s a Canadian thing) fries, plus milkshakes, fried Twinkies and cookies, as well as draft beer and wine.

They’re located at 5019 Lone Tree Way, Suite A near Kobe restaurant and the City Sports health club and are open Monday to Saturday 11 am to 9 pm and Sundays from 11 am to 8 pm. Call in your order to (925) 978-9398. For more information about their menu items, visit https://hdburgerandmore.com/.

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