From Finance To A Flat Top, This Burger Connoisseur Is Opening His Own Spot

Burgers are the ultimate comfort food for so many people, including Mike Puma who in 2013 started Gotham Burger Social Club. A simple concept where a group of burger lovers would tour New York City on the hunt for the best burger. Almost exactly a decade later, Puma finds himself leaving a 28-year-long career on Wall Street to open his very own burger spot after he managed to build himself with a cult-like following of people obsessed with his smash burgers.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m part of the following as I’m a huge fan of these perfectly juicy, yet delightfully crispy, cheesy burgers. The first time I had the chance to try one of Puma’s famous Gotham Smash burgers (made in the style of an Oklahoma fried-onion burger with American cheese and onions grilled to perfection) was at South Beach Wine & Food Festival in 2020, just before the pandemic began and it’s basically set the standard for every burger I’ve consumed ever since.

Over the last year, Puma’s found himself running pop-up after pop-up with lines wrapping full city blocks and those devouring his burgers saying it’s more than worth the sometimes 3-hour long wait. He hit that crucial point where he found himself less and less excited about going to the office, where by day he’d been a financial advisor for nearly three decades.

“I just wasn’t as fulfilled….

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