Zack T. Medford loves a good hamburger. The owner of Isaac Hunter’s Tavern and Great Crawl Events prefers a local burger, though, from Mecca or Chuck’s.
But he’s kicked up some beef with Mark Wahlberg ever since the actor and his brother—actor and former New Kid on the Block Donnie Wahlberg—announced the upcoming Raleigh opening of their burger chain, Wahlburgers.
Yesterday, Medford released a video (see below) challenging Wahlberg to visit his event on October 7.
“I challenge you to come to the Sir Walter Smoke-Off and put your burgers against mine. We can raise money for the Raleigh Wake Partnership to End Homelessness, and prove, once and for all, who has the best burger in the Oak City,” he says.
The fundraiser features a barbecue cooking competition.
Medford told the INDY today that his issue with the burger chain is more about the Wahlbergs’ company not addressing any local businesses as they plan to open up downtown.
“Downtown Raleigh has been revitalized by local small businesses in the last eighty years,” he says. “Now we’re starting to attract the national chains. I’ve been worried once we get a Wahlburgers downtown, we’re going to lose the charm. They should come in like some other chains have, meet with the communities, let us know, ‘This is who we are, what we are about, why we want to be a part of Raleigh.’”
He also noted statistics from the #buyloco campaign, which encourages businesses in North America to increase awareness of how shopping local benefits the economy. Compared with chains, local businesses return four times as much money back into local economies.
“Every single dollar you invest in a small business stays in the Raleigh community,” Medford says. He adds that if Wahlberg were to help with the fundraiser, it would show his investment in the community.
“I understand Marky Mark is a busy man, and maybe doing an event a month away wouldn’t fit in his schedule,” Medford says. “But I hope he takes this challenge and comes together with me to raise money in the partnership to end homelessness in Raleigh and Wake County.”